Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (more commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects spinal cord and brain cell nerves. As it progresses, it causes the person with ALS to lose control of his muscles. The disease starts out slowly, often without any pain, but as it progresses, the afflicted person loses more and more the ability to be able to move, swallow and breath. There is no cure for ALS, and sadly, it usually results in death for the person with ALS within five years. It is a terrifying disease to be diagnosed with. Here is what your and their senior care aides should be aware of.
While there is little pain when the disease is first developing, there are some key symptoms that you and your elderly parent can be aware of, and that is the reason why every May is ALS Awareness Month. Having an awareness of this disease that can strike anyone, will hopefully help families and senior care providers catch the disease early so treatments can begin right away.
Symptoms of ALS
Muscle cramps and twitching in your arms, shoulders and tongue
An early symptom of ALS, it starts out as a minor irritant and discomfort but can be the beginning of the more serious symptoms of ALS.
Difficulty walking or doing normal daily activities
If your aging parent has started having problems coordinating his feet to walk or finds regular activities like chopping up vegetables are causing him issues, you might want to schedule a visit to discover the source of his struggle. Both of these activities and many more can be provided by a senior care provider, but it’s also important to discover why your parent is having these physical issues.
Tripping and falling
Because of the inability to control the muscles in his legs, tripping and falling can become more common for your parent. Look for new bruises or injuries if your parent isn’t forthcoming about any falls he’s had.
Weakness in the legs, feet or ankles
ALS often starts in the hands, feet, and limbs so this may be the first place you or your parent notice a difference in his abilities to use these areas. If simple everyday activities like turning the car ignition, or opening a door by twisting a doorknob, have become impossible to complete, your parent should have himself evaluated.
Hand weakness or clumsiness
If your parent finds he has to ask his home care provider to open all of the jars or unscrew a medicine bottle cover, it might be ALS progressing through his body.
Slurred speech or trouble swallowing
As ALS progresses, many people start to have problems speaking and swallowing as those muscles lose the ability to work.
Inappropriate yawning, crying, or laughing
Emotional manifestations can take hold in a person battling ALS, causing them to not be in control of their emotions.
Cognitive and behavioral changes
ALS sometimes causing dementia-like symptoms and behaviors.
It’s important to realize that not all people with ALS experience the same symptoms or progression. However, progressive muscle weakness and paralysis are inevitable for all patients.
If you or a family member are in need of hiring Senior Care Services in Pompano Beach FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770. Providing service in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Margate, Pompano Beach and Tamarac.
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