For someone facing the challenge of becoming an ALS caregiver, there are many paths to gaining the knowledge and experiences they need to care for someone with the disease. Finding accurate and timely information can play a key role in equipping those impacted by an ALS diagnosis with the skills they need to provide the best possible quality care.
“We know that people living with ALS require specialized caregiving support that can sometimes be complex due to the everchanging nature of the disease,” says Leslie Ryan, Senior Director, Community Education & Professional Competencies for the ALS Association. “And we also know that because ALS is a progressive illness, the responsibilities of the caregiver will change over time.”
To help, we developed The ALS Association Caregiver Education Course to do just that. Available to all caregivers, this free online course was created with guidance from people who have lived the role and who have shared their journeys in hopes they can make the path easier for future caregivers.
Once registered, you’ll find a wealth of information allowing you to access an extensive list of ALS caregiving topics broken down into categories such as Mobility, Communication and Speech, and Psychosocial and Emotional Health. Each module includes detailed, specific lessons related to the topic. In total there are eleven modules with more than 80 individual lessons.
The course allows caregivers to tackle modules and lessons at their own pace and at the time that makes the most sense for them on their caregiving journey. In fact, there is a unique bookmarking feature to allow users to tag topics of particular interest, as well as the ability to add personal notes to lessons for reference and reminders later on.
Throughout the course experience, caregivers have access to videos and website links which will often tell a personal story that helps to validate the importance of the topic. Most modules also include a “Consider This” section to help learners appreciate the scenarios their patient may face and identify their own choices if faced with a similar situation.
The course was designed to be of value to both family caregivers as well as professionals, and when the entire course is finished, the user will receive a Certificate of Completion. “It was a great course, and (I am) looking forward to providing it to our employees,” wrote Christine, CEO of a home healthcare agency in California. “I want our employees to become certified.”
Even after completion, the course materials are available in a resource library, providing participants the ability to refer to and review as needed, providing an ongoing, trusted resource throughout their caregiving journey.
In memory of Robyn Glaser Goldstein, the ALS Association Caregiver Education Course was made possible through the generosity of her family and friends. Register for the course HERE.
November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize and honor the tremendous contributions of family caregivers. You can find more information on being and ALS caregiver HERE. You can find support in your community through your local ALS Association team HERE.