Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and it affects more than 31,800 Americans. May is ALS Awareness Month to help people better understand the disease. It’s typically diagnosed between the ages of 55 and 75. As the progression of this disease can be relatively quick at three to five years, you need to make sure your dad’s personal care needs are addressed early on. Hiring personal care at home providers would assist with his needs.
What Happens With ALS?
ALS impacts the health of nerves found in the muscles. As the nerves die, the muscles weaken and fail to function properly. Muscles will weaken to a point that mobility is lost, use of hands and arms for routine tasks like brushing and flossing the teeth, washing hair, shaving, or cutting nails is impossible.
Bladder control often becomes difficult, so incontinence is a problem. Someone needs to be ready to help with trips to the bathroom and cleaning up and changing clothes if your dad has an accident.
Your dad may become completely dependent on a wheelchair to get around. That can make it very hard to shower without having someone available for transfers from the wheelchair to a shower chair or transfer chair. Ideally, he’ll have a roll-in shower, but that’s not always the case in a home.
He’s going to need someone to clean his skin to ensure that dirt, sweat, and body oils are cleaned from folds. He needs to be dried off to prevent moisture from leading to yeast infections. He may need moisturizer applied to his skin to prevent cracked, dry skin.
When his hair has been washed, someone needs to dry it and style it. On a cooler day or in AC, he may not want to let his hair dry naturally, and he’s not going to be able to hold a blow dryer. He can’t comb or brush his hair either, so that’s another aspect of grooming that’s important.
Finally, he’s going to have to rely on someone else to assist him as he puts on clothes, shoes, and accessories. He can’t do that himself.
He May Not Welcome Your Help
With this type of chronic health condition, your dad is likely to feel depressed. He may experience anxiety. He’s also very likely going to be embarrassed by the fact that he’s struggling to control his muscles and body. Don’t be alarmed if he becomes argumentative or simply refuses to let you help him.
He may prefer to have a trained professional helping him with grooming and hygiene. It’s hard to let an adult child see you at your most intimate moments, and that makes it hard to accept help from someone you raised.
Personal Care at Home Services Aid Him
Grooming and hygiene tasks shouldn’t go ignored due to their difficulty as your dad’s progression worsens. Arrange personal care at home to ensure your dad has someone to help him with oral hygiene, shaving, showers, and more. Talk to our specialist in personal care at home to learn more.
If you or a loved one are considering Personal Care at Home Services near New Holland PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Lancaster. Call today at (717) 205-2174.
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