Facing a diagnosis of ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, can be devastating. Finding hope in the midst of this is of the utmost importance. The ALS association is committed to helping those with ALS and those caring for loved ones with ALS. There are patterns to grief and patterns to hope to consider as you navigate the new life you are facing.
- Taking enough time to grieve. The news that you have ALS or someone you love has a condition that will reduce mobility and independence can be difficult and take time to absorb. In the beginning especially, it takes patience and time to find the way through the grief. Avoid putting your grief on a timetable.
- Hold on to hope. Beginning the journey into learning about ALS and its limitations requires a focus on physical ability and healthy living. There are many people with this condition that live 3-5 years, where some live 10 years or more. Holding on to hope and seeking for encouraging, positive paths are essential to facing diagnosis and what follows.
- Think beyond the physical changes. There are many with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis the lead abundant, rewarding lives even with physical limitations. Consider thinking of ALS as a part of your life, but not as to what defines your life.
- Consider making decisions now about your future medical care. As you enter the world of ALS care and treatment, be mindful of the kind of care and future care you might need. With the advice of your doctor, social worker or hospice nurse, and family you can decide whether you want to pursue certain life-extending methods and procedures. It will also be important to plan where you want to spend your final days. There are many options for hospice care needs. Planning for the future can also assist in helping you and your loved ones communicate and make decisions together, and ease worries and anxieties.
- Find and join a support group. It can be an immense help to find others facing a similar journey for support and to learn other perspectives. Family members and friends assisting in your treatment and care may also benefit from a support group of others who care for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. You can find support groups by visiting the ALS Association webpage or asking your doctor.
Want to help the cause of ALS? Gifting your unwanted vehicle s a wonderful way to reach out and help others with this disease. You can donate your car to the cause of ALS through DonateACar and have your car towed away for free! The proceeds from your donations will go towards ALS Associations efforts to support those with ALS, their families and loved ones, and ongoing research for care and cures.