It’s ALS Awareness Month. How Can Hospice Serve ALS Patients?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects about 20,000 Americans every year. ALS strikes most often between the ages 40 and 70, and the disease affects military veterans approximately twice as often as the general public. It is a progressive disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As ALS damages the nerve cells, the muscles of the body become affected. The progression of the disease varies dramatically from person to person.
Because there is no cure, treatment for ALS concentrates on prevention of complications and slowing progression of the disease. Survival can be extended and quality of life can be maintained with an ALS team managing symptoms and care. Patients benefit from physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy. Nutritional, psychological and social support is also important to assuring continued quality of life. New research is offering hope for new treatments, but currently ALS patients face an eventual terminal prognosis.
As the disease progresses toward end-of-life, hospice can help assure ALS patients comfort and care while providing support and relief for caregivers. Ohio’s Hospice services include:
- Home and hospital visits by an interdisciplinary team of nurses, physicians, personal care assistants, social workers, chaplains and volunteers
- Pain and symptom control
- Medical treatment
- Patient care education for family members
- Personal care services
- Respite or continuous care as needed
- Medical equipment, supplies or medications
- Respiratory, occupational and massage therapy
- Short-term inpatient care for respite or symptom management
- Counseling and emotional support for patient and family
- Spiritual support
- Companionship visits from volunteers
- Assistance with resources such as insurance, financial aid, in-home support, transportation and community agencies
- 24 hours, 7 days a week on-call nursing assistance
Because Veterans are often affected by ALS more often, our American Pride program tailored to address the special needs of Veterans can also be beneficial for ALS patients.
For additional information, please call 1-888-449-4121 or 937-781-4121.
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