6 Tips for Preventing Lou Gehrig’s Disease in Seniors

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, 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 the 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, a leading provider of senior care 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 loved one to develop Lou Gehrig’s disease. If your loved one is undergoing radiation therapy, ask his or her doctor if there’s 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, a 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 prevent ALS, your loved one should eat healthy foods, wash his or her hands regularly to avoid germs, and stay hydrated.

Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Richmond seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

4. Stop Smoking

Nitric oxide and other compounds found in cigarette smoke can damage neurons in the brain and increase the 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 the 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’s adequate lighting throughout the home, and removing all throw rugs to prevent falls.

6. Minimize Fatigue

Conserving energy helps seniors prevent Lou Gehrig’s disease. If your loved one is able to minimize fatigue, his or her body may prevent ALS and avoid 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

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional in-home care. Richmond families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (804) 207-4746.

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