We spoke with Scott Kauffman, chairman of The ALS Association Board of Trustees and caregiver to his son, Stephen, who is living with ALS, to look back on the achievements made in 2022 and learn more about what he sees ahead in 2023.
As no two cases of ALS are the same, nor are any two ALS caregivers. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to each caregiver question, but that is not to say there isn’t much to be gleaned from the experiences of others.
The ALS journey is difficult, so whether it is family, or friends or community volunteers, finding people who are willing to help, and accepting the help they are able to give, can make all the difference. We had the privilege of sitting down with the Woody family’s “village,” to talk about ALS, how it impacts their everyday life, and their incredible devotion to be a part of the family’s ALS journey. Here’s what they had to say.
For someone facing the daunting 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. Regardless of how you prefer to learn, one thing everyone can benefit from is a reliable source of information, which can be found in the new ALS Association Caregiver Education Course.
Kristina met Lamar Woody in high school, although it wasn’t until college when they really found their true connection. Lamar loves to tell everyone Kristina was the prettiest girl in school. Little did she know then she would not only become his wife and mother of their beautiful daughter, Natalie, but she would also become his ALS caregiver.
Only those living through the experience first-hand truly understand the challenges of being a full-time caregiver, particularly for someone living with ALS. The ability to complete basic daily tasks can be overwhelming and the need for help is great. Finding ways to help and show support for the caregiver in your life can make a huge difference for them, and for you.
As ALS progresses, the challenges of maintaining good nutrition as well as avoiding malnutrition change. With the support of caregivers and a multidisciplinary care team, these challenges can be managed to provide both the best nutrition and best quality of life at all stages.
The urge to support, or be supported, is often accentuated at times of great challenge, or uncertainty. As anyone living with ALS or being an ALS caregiver knows, this disease can bring plenty of both. That’s why The ALS Association provides support groups in every state.
In some way, shape or form, we are all list people. Some people are of the pen and paper list variety, others have taken to keeping notes on their phone or online calendar. And even those who would claim to not keep lists probably have an idea of some “to dos” they keep in their head. For ALS caregivers, far too often the last thing on their lists is themselves. So, here’s a list of ALS caregiver “to dos” for their own self-care and wellness.
We spoke with Dr. Melinda Kavanaugh, clinical social worker and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, to understand more about young caregivers and the potential harms caused by the lack of quality of sleep they receive and what can we do about it.
We are pleased to share our 2022 Mid-Year Report, detailing the work and achievements that have shaped the first half of this year, touching on all aspects of our mission: research, care services and advocacy.
Multidisciplinary care has been proven to extend life, helping people living with ALS maintain independence longer and enjoy improved quality of life when provided with options for symptom management, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, education, care services and emotional support.
Decreased mobility is a challenge faced by every person living with ALS, and helping people improve their mobility is a key to making the disease livable. It’s also a key to empowering people to live their lives as they want while reducing or preventing physical, emotional and financial burdens, and to enjoy the leisure activities that enrich their lives.
June 21 is a solstice, a turning point, if you will, and each year the ALS/MND community around the world celebrates Global ALS/MND Awareness Day to express their hope that this day will be yet another turning point in the search for causes, treatments and ultimately a cure of ALS/MND.
It’s going to take all of us working together to make ALS a livable disease and ultimately find a cure. And it will take people like YOU. Whether you have a personal connection to ALS or just want to help make a difference for families impacted by the disease, becoming an advocate is easy.
In order to make ALS a livable disease and ultimately find a cure, it’s going to take people living with ALS, their caregivers, family members and loved ones across the country coming together to pursue public policies that help discover new treatments, empower people living with ALS to live life on their own terms and help reduce harms associated with the disease. In the past 12 months, ALS advocates have seen a number of public policy wins.