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How to Prevent Lou Gehrig’s Disease

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Named after the famous New York Yankees baseball player, Lou Gehrig’s disease is a progressive disorder that damages muscles and nerves. Even after years of exhaustive research, doctors are still trying to identify the risk factors. While around five percent of these cases seem to be caused by genetic factors, seniors might still be able to stave off Lou Gehrig’s disease with a handful of lifestyle changes. 

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of North Broward home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Here are a few ways seniors can reduce the risk of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Have Water in the Home Tested

Also referred to as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig’s disease seems to react to environmental toxins such as lead. Many seniors with ALS have very high levels of lead in their blood, which could potentially accelerate this disease. If your loved one’s home has any lead water pipes, he or she should invest in a faucet-mounted water filter, which can trap lead particles. 

Eat More Colorful Vegetables

After analyzing over one million participants, a group of international researchers discovered that colorful fruits and vegetables can decrease an individual’s risk of ALS. Unlike vegetables that have neutral tones, brighter produce tends to contain nutrients known as carotenoids. These substances can suppress the production of certain proteins that trigger ALS. Cantaloupes, carrots, and sweet potatoes are all excellent sources of carotenoids. The study also found that leafy green vegetables like kale and broccoli could lower ALS rates. More research is needed, but it seems as if most antioxidants can reduce the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disorder. 

Add Fish to the Diet or Take a Fish Oil Supplement

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. According to a 2014 study published in JAMA Neurology, omega-3 fatty acids can potentially reduce the risk of ALS. When taken daily, fish oil supplements can enhance cognitive abilities and reduce joint inflammation. Seniors who aren’t interested in taking supplements should consider adding more fish to their diets. Mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids. 

Older adults with certain health conditions may need professional caregivers to assist them with daily activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. North Broward seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Protect the Head

Brain damage drastically increases the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disorder later in life. While a concussion might not directly cause Lou Gehrig’s disease, it could potentially damage brain cells and trigger some of the worst symptoms. Seniors who have difficulty with balance should speak with a doctor about using a mobility device. Options like wheelchairs and walkers can drastically reduce the risk of head injuries. It might also be a good idea to install handrails near stairs and in the bathrooms to prevent accidents.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. North Broward, FL, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call one of our professional Care Managers at 954-906-5161 and create a comprehensive home care plan for your senior loved one.