Here are some tips for families facing ALS:
- Stay social. Staying connected is key to remaining positive making the best of each day.
- Get a handicapped sticker for your car. Check with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles to check the requirements for a disability placard for your car. If your resources allow, consider purchasing a handicap-accessible van.
- Anticipate needs — as best you can. ALS progresses differently in each person. Start shopping for a walker, getting fitted for a wheelchair and arranging for other assistance sooner than later, before it becomes a crisis.
- Go to physical and occupational therapy to help maintain strength and flexibility.
- Find caregiver relief. If you can't afford to hire a caregiver, see if neighbors or members of your faith community can pitch in. There may also be free community resources available to you; talk your doctor or one of the hospital's social workers.
- Consider therapy and antidepressants. ALS can take its toll on the patient and their caregivers, and both are at significant risk for depression.
- Live in the moment. You need to stay focused on what you can do right now and try not to think about what is going to happen next.
Keyword: living als