People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, need increasingly more care as their disease progresses. This means that family caregivers assume a larger and larger burden of care as time goes on. It can help to have some tips in your back pocket that allow you to overcome some of the common challenges caregivers to people with ALS encounter. Below are 3 tips to help you out.
#1: Be Realistic in Your Expectations
As a caregiver, you want to feel like what you do makes a difference in the life of the older adult. Many people measure those results by whether the person gets better. Unfortunately, no matter what you do for a loved one with ALS, their condition is going to deteriorate. That doesn’t mean you’re not doing a good job or that what you do doesn’t matter. You are and it does. The truth is that there is currently no cure for the disease. Still, without your help, it’s possible the older adult might have to move into a long-term care facility. Instead of judging yourself according to the senior’s condition, judge yourself according to their quality of life—it’s better because of you.
#2: Encourage the Older Adult to Live in the Moment
It’s easy for people with ALS to become depressed because of their situation and worry about what the future holds. Unfortunately, there’s no way to control the course of the disease or its eventual outcome. Dwelling on it won’t help. Helping your aging relative to concentrate on the here and now and get the most enjoyment possible out of every day can make a huge difference in their life. Keep doing activities they enjoy for as long as possible and think of ways to modify them when they become difficult. Laugh together, spend time making new memories, and go on fun outings whenever you can. You cannot get these moments back, so don’t waste them.
#3: Make the Most of Available Help
Because being a caregiver to someone with ALS gets increasingly harder, it’s important that you start looking for help early. Contact your state’s chapter of the ALS Association and find out what they can do to assist the senior and their family. Also, call a home care agency to talk about hiring additional help for family caregivers. Having a home care provider come to the home a few times per week, or as often as needed, can give family caregivers some time to themselves to rest and refresh themselves as well as to attend to their other responsibilities.
If you or an aging loved one are considering a Caregiver Holmdel Township NJ, please contact the caring staff at Lares Home Care 888-492-3538 or 732-566-1112.