Having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes many different symptoms. Many people are aware of the physical symptoms like the inability to control muscles and eventual physical disability. However, you may not know that there are symptoms that aren’t as obvious, like fatigue. Fatigue is a persistent feeling of tiredness that isn’t relieved by rest. Fatigue can keep your aging relative with ALS from being able to do the things they enjoy. To continue to do as much as possible with their remaining time, it’s important for seniors with ALS to conserve energy in daily tasks, so they can spend more time on activities that make them happy, like spending time with loved ones. Below are 5 ways people with ALS can conserve energy.
#1: Learn How to Adapt Tasks
Many tasks can be made easier by changing the way they are done or by using assistive devices. Ask for a referral to an occupational therapist who can teach your aging relative how to make everyday activities, like eating and getting dressed, less time and energy consuming. There are a lot of devices that can help, such as adaptors for eating utensils to make them less difficult to hold.
#2: Don’t Resist Using a Wheelchair
While using a wheelchair might seem to some like giving up and losing their independence, it should not be viewed that way. Using a wheelchair to conserve energy while shopping or doing other errands doesn’t mean the older adult cannot still get up and walk a bit while they still can. There’s also no shame in using a wheelchair. If the older adult is reluctant to use a wheelchair in public, they may be more willing to use a mobility scooter until they have to make the change to an electric wheelchair.
#3: Conserve Movement
Moving less reduces the fatigue caused by moving muscles that no longer work well. Encourage the senior to sit while doing tasks that will take longer than 5 minutes, such as folding laundry. Use a rolling cart to move objects instead of lifting them.
#4: Get a Disabled Parking Permit
A disabled parking permit allows the older adult to park closer to the doors of business, so they don’t have to walk as far. Apply for the permit early on in the course of the disease, so the senior has it when they start to need it.
#5: Hire Home Care
Home care providers can take care of necessary tasks that are difficult and sap the energy of older adults with ALS. For example, pushing a heavy vacuum may be taxing in the early stages of the disease. Later, it will be impossible. A home care provider can do the vacuuming for your loved one, so their house is clean, and they can spend the time and energy elsewhere.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING HOME CARE SERVICES IN LINCOLN PARK, IL, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE CHICAGO. CALL TODAY: 312.382.8888.