How to Reduce the Risk of Lou Gehrig’s Disease in Elderly People

By Doris Kasold, 9:00 am on

Also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig’s disease is a neurological disorder that damages the muscles and makes basic tasks tough to perform. There is currently no permanent cure for ALS, which is why it is important for seniors to lower their risk of this condition. Here are a few ways older adults can stave off ALS. 

Stop Smoking

Researchers believe most seniors who have ALS develop this condition because of genetics. Smoking might be the only environmental factor that can trigger Lou Gehrig’s disease. Within just a few days of quitting, seniors begin to lower their risk of heart disease, ALS, lung cancer, and other medical conditions. Seniors who are having a tough time quitting should speak with a doctor about prescription medication that could suppress their cravings. Smoking is hard to quit, but it is one of the best things seniors can do for their wellbeing. 

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Palm Harbor, Florida, home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Test the Home for Toxins

No single chemical has been associated with Lou Gehrig’s disease, but seniors who are regularly exposed to environmental toxins have much higher rates of ALS. Some researchers believe exposure to lead either triggers ALS or amplifies the symptoms. Seniors should have their pipes and paint tested for lead and other carcinogens. At the very least, seniors and their caregivers should consider investing in faucet-mounted filters, which can remove lead. 

Consume Colorful Vegetables

Colorful vegetables are packed with antioxidants and carotenoids, which can stave off neurological disorders. A recent study published in the Annals of Neurology revealed seniors who consumed high levels of carotenoids tended to have much lower rates of Lou Gehrig’s disease. During your loved one’s next shopping trip, encourage him or her to fill up the cart with produce such as tomatoes, bell peppers, kale, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Unlike many other vitamins and minerals found in produce, carotenoids aren’t destroyed when vegetables are cooked. 

Helping a senior loved one manage his or her health can be challenging. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Palm Harbor, FL, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.

Get Regular Exercise

Moderate exercise can delay the symptoms of ALS. This disease is a neurological disorder that damages muscles, and strengthening those muscles with regular exercise can enhance quality of life. A few initial studies have revealed a potential link between exercise and ALS rates, but further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

Caring for a senior loved one with Lou Gehrig’s Disease requires dedication. Living with a serious health condition 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. Palm Harbor seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Whether your loved one requires assistance with day-to-day activities or you need a break from your caregiving duties, give Home Care Assistance a call at 727-330-7862 today.

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