6 Ways to Keep Lou Gehrig’s Disease at Bay in the Golden Years

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Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the muscles in the body and leads to complete paralysis and possibly death. Here are some of the lifestyle changes your elderly loved one can make to decrease the odds of developing ALS. 

1. Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

Eating salmon, nuts, and vegetables can decrease the risk of developing Lou Gehrig’s disease. These foods contain omega-3 fatty acids that control oxidative stress and inflammation and protect your loved one’s brain against degeneration.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an in-home care provider Mississauga, Ontario, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.  

2. Avoid Exposure to Chemicals

Exposure to toxins and radiation could cause your elderly loved one to develop Lou Gehrig’s disease. If your loved one is undergoing radiation therapy, ask his or her doctor if there is an alternative treatment available. Avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals could prevent muscle atrophy, weakness, and other factors associated with ALS. 

3. Maintain a Strong Immune System 

Chronic stress, poor diet, and inadequate sleep can weaken the immune system and cause Lou Gehrig’s disease. If your loved one has a weak immune system, it could cause healthy nerve cells to die. To stave off ALS, your loved one should eat healthy foods, wash his or her hands regularly to avoid germs, and stay hydrated. 

In Mississauga, ON, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

4. Stop Smoking 

Nitric oxide and other compounds found in cigarette smoke can damage your loved one’s neurons and increase his or her risk of developing Lou Gehrig’s disease. The chemicals found in cigarettes and other tobacco products could generate free radicals. Your loved one should avoid smoking cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products. 

5. Increase Balance 

Head traumas caused by slips and falls could lead to brain damage and increase your loved one’s risk of ALS. When the motor neurons die due to the brain damage, your loved one might experience a loss of motor function. Encourage your loved one to do exercises to increase bone strength and balance. Consider placing grab bars in the bathrooms, making sure there is adequate lighting throughout the home, and removing all throws and rugs to prevent falls. 

6. Minimize Fatigue

Conserving energy helps seniors prevent Lou Gehrig’s disease. If your aging loved one is able to minimize fatigue, his or her body may stave off ALS and prevent many of its symptoms such as muscle weakness and overall tiredness. Here are some of the ways your loved one can prevent fatigue:

  • Move at a steady pace
  • Avoid stressful situations
  • Eat healthy 
  • Establish a regular sleeping pattern
  • Ask for assistance with daily activities  

For many seniors in Mississauga, Ontario, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. Get in touch with us at (905) 337-1200 and find out how our customized senior care plans can benefit your elderly loved one.