Promoting quality of life.
We help individuals with PD or ALS to continue living rewarding lives. Living Well President, Dr. Doris Bersing, says "...Remember that these diseases are a label but they are not your loved ones. They experience that illness but they are not the illness. It is very important to focus on the uniqueness and individuality of each person and use the right interventions to help them express themselves and lead a fulfilling inner life. Let us help you and your loved one to understand and live well through the process."
In both diseases excellent care at home and monitoring of medical signs and symptoms are key. Our homecare spans a continuous spectrum that we tune to individual needs and desires, always preserving individual dignity, adapting to change as it occurs. View the types of services we provide.
According to the National Parkinson's Foundation, in the United States, 50,000-60,000 new cases of Parkinson's disease (PD) are diagnosed each year, adding to the one million people who currently have Parkinson's Disease. In fact, it is estimated that four to six million people around the world suffer from the condition. There is hope, however, as scientists work towards a cure and make progress in identifying the best treatment options for patients. Parkinson's disease usually develops after age 60, but 15% of cases are diagnosed in people under the age of 40.
According to the ALS Association, only 5 to 10% of cases of ALS in the U.S. are genetic; the cause of 90-95% of cases is unknown. ALS is a disorder that affects the function of nerves and muscles. Based on U.S. population studies, a little over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. (That's 15 new cases a day.) It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. According to the ALS CARE Database, 60% of the people with ALS in the Database are men and 93% of patients in the Database are Caucasian. Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis. However, cases of the disease do occur in persons in their twenties and thirties.
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.
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 of the disease, 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 ALS can 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 symptom may be slurred speech. The rate at 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.
The Parkinson's Disease Foundation states "...While your journey with Parkinson's is different from anyone else's, from age of onset, to the symptoms you will experience, to your reactions to medications, there are common strategies you can take to live well with PD..." Learn more about strategies to live with PD