Creating a Fuller Life Living With ALS
Profile of ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons (nerve cells) in the brain and spinal cord. As degeneration of the motor neurons occurs, the brain’s ability to initiate and control muscle movement weakens. When the motor neurons stop sending signals to the muscles, their voluntary control becomes compromised, challenging the patient’s ability to walk, swallow, speak and breathe. Over time, without the necessary signals from the motor neurons informing the muscles to move, the muscles become progressively powerless from inactivity, eventually leading to paralysis. Ultimately, the diaphragm and the chest muscles fail, and the patient stops breathing.
- What is ALS?
- Understanding the Diagnosis of ALS
- Emotional Responses to the Diagnosis
- Acceptance of Life with ALS
- Coping with ALS
- Challenges & Decision-Making
- Disease Progression & Management of Weakening Physical Capabilities
- Direction of Future Care
- Advance Directives (Living Wills)
- Palliative Care
- The Gift of Hospice Care
- Erasing the Myths About Hospice