Walk to Defeat ALS Has Record-Breaking Year
The Greater New York Chapter’s Walk to Defeat ALS program had another record-breaking year in 2014! Due to the overwhelming attendance of over 15,000 walkers and the incredible fundraising efforts of our 850 teams, our seven Walks have raised a combined total of $2.4 million to date. Click here to read more.
Ask Ben: What Is The Proper
For Shower Bars?
My husband is beginning to be nervous about standing in the shower. He had Bulbar ALS, but it is now affecting his walking. We have a walk-in shower, and he can still step in himself. But since he has fallen outside the house a couple of times, we want grab bars to keep him steady in the shower. Where do you recommend we place them?
– Iris, Nassau County, NY
Iris, your question focuses on grab bar placement, but it also is about safety. There are specifications for grab bars: 1.5-inch in diameter, 1.5-inch away from the wall and any other object (so your fingers don’t get squeezed), 33-36-inches above the floor as a starting point, but the height of a grab bar really depends on the person’s height and arm length, and of course needs to be properly secured to the wall. I would suggest a textured finish to provide a better grasp. A vertical grab bar can be placed at the entry point to the shower, and another one placed horizontally along the wall opposite the shower door.
While grab bars can certainly add a degree of confidence and stability, they do not replace balance. A couple of falls is an indicator to start thinking of sitting when showering. Grab bars transfer the body’s ability to stay standing, from the legs to the arms. The potential for a fall is still present. Sitting reduces the potential for an accident. Folding bath seats may be attached to the wall, or a portable bath seat can usually be placed, inside a shower area.
Another circumstance to consider with walk-in showers is the lip to step over. Should it be difficult to step over the lip, and the entry way is wide enough, you can remove the glass shower door and replace it with a shower curtain. This will allow a tub transfer bench to straddle the shower lip. You can then sit on this bench outside the shower, and slide over the lip while still sitting. Raising your legs while sitting is easier than stepping over the lip and holding onto a grab bar. You’ll have to be creative to place and cut the shower curtain to minimize water spraying out of the shower area.
Grab bars do provide some stability, but a seat reduces the risk of falling.
Ben Lieman, ATP, MSW is the Assistive Technology Specialist with the Greater New York Chapter, advising patients and caregivers about medical equipment, home accessibility, and augmentative communications devices. To ask Ben a question, simply email him at email@example.com or call at (212) 720-3057. Ben will answer all questions directly as usual, but not all questions will appear in the Monthly Update.
Flu Season: What You Need To Know
As we welcome a change of season, we also anticipate an unwelcome visitor, the influenza (flu) virus. The flu is a contagious disease, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is spread through sneezing, coughing and close contact.
Symptoms of the flu are a sudden onset of fever, muscle aches and pains, fatigue and headache. Complications of the flu may include dehydration, sinus infection or bacterial pneumonia. This unwanted visitor will definitely overstay its welcome!
According to the CDC, it is important to get the flu shot every year because the influenza virus mutates over time, and every year the flu vaccine is designed to protect against three to four viruses that are believed to cause disease that year. It can take up to two weeks for your body to build up antibodies to fight the flu after receiving the vaccine. You are at higher risk of contracting the flu if you are not vaccinated.
There's more... To read the full article, please click here.
This article was written by Nicole Yarab for The ALS Association.
In Need of Help?
If you are a patient, caregiver, or family member and need a little help to lighten your work load please contact us and we will request a volunteer for you. Volunteers can help in many ways - from walking your dog, shopping, or just reading aloud.
If you live in New York please contact Christine Dunn at (212) 720- 3044 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you live in New Jersey contact Debbie Schlossberg at (732) 710-8832 or email@example.com.
Join our Young Professionals Group
The YPG generates awareness of the fight against ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) by developing fun, sophisticated and meaningful opportunities for their peers to get involved in the cause.
For information about the next general meeting of the Young Professionals Group please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about the ALS Association's Young Professionals Group, please click here.
Información en Español
The Greater New York Chapter website now has information on ALS and Chapter services in Spanish. If you know someone with ALS who may need information in Spanish, please refer them to www.als-ny.org/espanol.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Greater New York Chapter continues to be on the front
lines of policy debates that shape the lives of people with ALS. From healthcare to research to veterans affairs, The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter is at the table on the federal, state and local levels of government making the concerns of ALS patients and their families and caregivers known.
If you're interested in joining our advocacy efforts, please contact Kim Peters at (212) 720-3054 or email@example.com.
We need volunteers to help our patients and their families. Some PALS may need help with daily tasks; families and caregivers of our PALS may need help as well to lighten their work load a bit. There are so many ways to help - from watching a video together or reading, or even helping with some household chores.
If you are looking for a way to get involved please click here to learn how you can help people with ALS. You can also call Christine Dunn at (212) 720-3044 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for New York, or Debbie Schlossberg at (732) 710-8832 or email: email@example.com for New Jersey.
Make a generous gift to find a cure and fund life saving research and to provide much needed equipment and services. To make a donation online, please click here or contact John Nolan at (212) 720-3051 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To mail a donation, please address to: The ALS Association Greater
New York Chapter, 42 Broadway, Suite 1724, New York, NY 10004. Thank you for your generous support.
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