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What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?

By Kevin McClarren, 8:00 am on

The current trend that has rapidly turned into a viral internet sensation is the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.” This challenge has been spreading around online raising millions of dollars for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is a degenerative disease that does not yet have a cure. Those who are called out by a friend or family member to partake in the challenge must either pour a cold bucket of ice water over their head while videotaping the challenge or donate money to the ALS Association to help raise money for a cure. Afterwards, participants must nominate someone else to do the challenge. Those nominated then have 24 hours to do the challenge. Celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Lebron James have all joined in on the charitable fun by participating in the #IceBucketChallenge.

ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”, is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons travel from the brain to the spinal cord and then onto a person’s muscles. With the disease, these motor neurons die and muscle movement is gradually lost. Those with ALS eventually become paralyzed and require 24/7 live-in home care.

There is only one FDA approved drug that is able to help slow down the progression of the disease. Many doctors recommend going to therapy to help with walking, speech, and breathing issues in order to maintain independence for as long as possible.

The ALS Association has done a remarkable job in drawing international awareness for this devastating disease, having raised nearly $80 million dollars.

If you have a loved one with ALS, an in-home caregiver can help your loved one with daily tasks while also encouraging independence and purposeful living. The experienced and trained caregivers at Home Care Assistance of Warren are able to help within the comfort of your loved one’s home, providing assistance with everything from daily grooming and assistance eating to incontinence and companionship. For more information on how an hourly or 24/7 in-home caregiver can help you or your loved one, call Warren Home Care Assistance today at 908.450.9400.