What is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)?

ALS is a degenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

With ALS, motor neurons (nerve cells) degenerate or die and the brain loses its ability to initiate and control muscle movement. In the early stages , patients experience muscle weakening particularly in the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. The condition slowly worsens. In the later stages, patients may become totally paralyzed. When the muscles in the chest area stop working , it becomes hard or impossible to breathe on one's own.

The initial symptoms of ALScan be quite varied in different people. One person may experience tripping over carpet edges, another person may have trouble lifting and a third person's early symptoms may be slurred speech. The rate in which ALS progresses can be quite variable from one person to another. Although the mean survival time with ALS is three to five years, many people live five, ten or more years.

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Parkinson's, ALS Care at Home


Living at Home with Parkinson's and ALS

Parkison's Disease

Caring Companions is committed to helping individuals with Parkinson's Disorder or ALS to continue to live healthy rewarding lives. In both diseases, excellent care at home and monitoring of medical signs and symptoms are vital. At Caring Companions, we believe that we can develop support and programming that appropriately stimulates, offers joy, and helps people to remain safe in their own homes and within their communities. We are focused on offering our clients support while assisting their families juggle the task of caregiving.

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease is a progressive disorder of the brain and central nervous system that causes a variety of movement problems (such as shaking, muscle stiffness, and difficulty walking).

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Movement and coordination in your body are controlled in part by a chemical in your brain called dopamine. In Parkinson's disease, dopamine-producing nerve cells are damaged, gradually reducing dopamine levels in the parts of the brain thought to control movement. Without dopamine, the brain doesn't send signals to the muscles so that they can function properly.