Being given a diagnosis of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) can bring about plenty of questions and concerns, both for the individual diagnosed and his or her family members. What’s the cause for ALS? What are the ALS symptoms which may be experienced now, and exactly how will they change in the coming years? Where am I able to find the necessary support?
Upwards of 30,000 Americans are currently diagnosed as having ALS, and nearly 5,600 new patients are diagnosed with the illness annually. And while the specific cause is not clear, some scientific studies point to complicated risk factors, such as a doubled risk of ALS in those who served during the Gulf War.
Although each individual can be impacted by ALS differently from others, the progression for the disease does seem to follow specific phases. Learning about these stages can help individuals diagnosed with ALS and those who care for them put into action the most appropriate plan of care. Harmony Home Health & Hospice, top providers of the home health and hospice care services Salt Lake City families need, shares details below:
- ALS symptoms may be detected in only one single area of the body
- However, milder symptoms may affect significantly more than this one region
- For some people, the initial impacted muscles are those used for speaking, swallowing or breathing
- Poor balance
- Slurring of speech
- Weakened grip
- Stumbling when walking
- Some specific muscles may be paralyzed, while some are weaker or totally unaffected
- Indicators of ALS are now more extensive
- Twitching could be noticeable
- Difficulties standing without assistance
- Challenges with eating and swallowing, which can result in choking
- Difficulty breathing, particularly when lying down
- Possible uncontrolled and inappropriate laughing or crying, known as the pseudobulbar affect (PBA)
- The individual with ALS needs full assistance to care for his/her needs
- Speaking may no longer be possible
- The individual can no longer drink or eat by mouth
- Paralysis in the majority of voluntary muscles
- Breathing is greatly affected, causing fatigue, unclear thinking, headaches and susceptibility to pneumonia
- Mobility is significantly impacted
Obtaining care from a professional home health caregiver, such as Harmony Home Health & Hospice, can increase the quality of life for people impacted by ALS symptoms. Our skilled and knowledgeable caregivers work with families to customize an individualized plan of care, allowing those experiencing symptoms of ALS to maintain dignity and the greatest levels of independence at all times. Providing the professional home health care and home hospice Salt Lake City families trust, we invite you to contact us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) to learn more about our top-rated services in your area.