ALS support is essential for those living with this neurodegenerative disease and furthering its research, care, and treatment.
Only those going through the experience themselves entirely and thoroughly understand the overwhelming challenges of being a full-time caregiver — especially for a person navigating through ALS. The ability to cross off a basic to-do list and complete everyday tasks can be stressful. The need to help and support the caregivers of ALS is crucial.
For many caregivers, accepting help can be difficult, even though they really need it. But there is so much good in the world, and countless people want to help a family living with such a challenging diagnosis. These people understand the severity of these situations and want to chip in; however, they aren’t sure how to start.
Continue reading below to learn how you can show your support to caregivers and those living with ALS.
What is ALS?
First, let’s talk about what ALS is. ALS is a nervous system disease that significantly weakens muscles over time and impacts total physical function. The disease causes nerve cells to break down, reducing muscle functionality and causing muscle weakness. People living with ALS can slow down the disease and minimize discomfort through medication and therapy; however, the cause is unknown, and there is no cure.
What is ALS Support?
ALS support is critical for those living with the disease and their caregivers. Caregivers and individuals with ALS need loads of help. Caregiving can be a full-time, around-the-clock, 24/7 kind of job. Tackling it alone can be incredibly burdensome and can lead to burnout. This is why supporting those with ALS and their caregivers is essential.
10 Ways to Show Support for Those Living With ALS
There are many ways to show your support for ALS. Here are just some of the ways you can support a caregiver or someone you love that is navigating through ALS:
Help With Food — Whether it is a hot, home-cooked meal, takeout from their favorite restaurant, food prep for the week (washing and chopping fruits and vegetables), or a freezer meal they can cook later, helping with food is almost always appreciated. Make sure to coordinate with the caregiver first and learn if there are any allergies or foods they dislike.
Stay in Touch — ALS is a rollercoaster, so finding ways to be present and stay in touch along the way, through the ups and downs, is key. Sending a simple card, text, email, phone call, or visit can mean the world. This journey is long and hard, so keep showing up, even weeks, months, and years later.
Do the Chores — Living with ALS is unbelievably overwhelming, making typical daily tasks challenging for the person living with the disease and the caregiver. While it might seem insignificant, doing the chores and the little things around the house can be incredibly helpful. Do the laundry, walk the dog, take out the trash, clean, mow the lawn, etc.
Learn About the Disease — Take time to learn about ALS and understand the disease. Read up on or watch videos about what to expect, medications, treatments, and all the other details.
Be Inclusive — ALS can feel lonely and isolating for everyone involved, but mainly those living with the disease. Include the person diagnosed by encouraging them to participate in their favorite hobbies, engage with friends and family members, and continue participating in everyday life.
Keep Everyone in Mind — ALS does not only impact the person diagnosed and the caregiver. It affects everyone in the family, regardless of age. Extend your love and support to all family members. Offer to help with elderly relatives and include their kids in your activities and outings.
Do the Errands — Getting out of the house for those dealing with ALS might be nice; however, it’s not always possible. If this is the case, offer to do the out-of-the-house errands for them. Do their grocery shopping, drive carpool, pick up their dry cleaning, and do any other chores that would help them.
Coordinate Support With Their Network — It really does take a village, and there’s no problem leaning into that! Of course, you cannot pick up all the slack as a supportive loved one. However, you can get much more done with a network of friends. Recruit family members, friends, and neighbors to sign up to help and take on specific tasks.
Lend a Shoulder to Cry On — ALS is unbelievably burdensome and creates overwhelming stress for everyone involved. A great way to show your support is to be a friend and offer a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.
Join the Fight Against ALS — One of the best ways to show your support to those living with ALS is by joining the fight against this horrible disease. It takes time, money, and other resources to make ALS a livable condition until a cure is found. So fundraise, donate, volunteer, and become an advocate. There are many ways to get involved in the bigger fight against ALS, like the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay Race.
Show Your Support for ALS With Saints to Sinners!
ALS support is an essential part of fighting the disease. One of the best ways to show your support for ALS and donate to a worthy cause is by signing up for the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay!
Show your support to those navigating through ALS with us, where all of the proceeds go to the fight against this disease. Help us fight back and show ALS that it will not win!
This bike relay race starts in the scenic mountains of Salt Lake City and ends in the scorching deserts of Las Vegas. Registration is already open for captains, riders, and volunteers! Gather your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors to support an amazing cause and join in on the fun! Contact our team now to learn more.