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November is National Family Caregivers Month


It is a very tricky business being a caregiver to an ALS patient; you must manage your time wisely, keep an eye and mind on signs/symptoms, be forward-thinking, yet still present and try not to get too high or too low. Quite frankly, it’s a very emotionally and mentally challenging experience but an extremely rewarding one because you’re doing it from the heart. In March of 2021, my dad started experiencing some speech-slurring issues and was concerned about his health as were the rest of our family. In May of 2022, he was officially diagnosed. It came as a shock, but we quickly transitioned into making sure his care was at the heart of all we did. We planned for the future and the present at every step.

There are good days of course where we laugh, watch sports, talk as a family, and get outside a bit for some fresh air. There are also days that are more taxing than others. My mom, my sister, and I all work full-time jobs. We collectively stay abreast and educated on the disease. We coordinate, debate, and make sure we can take turns living our lives to the fullest all the while making sure our King is given the best care humanly possible. 

Being a caretaker means advocating on their behalf at every step, putting their well-being at the focus of your life, and dealing with chaotic experiences with grace, composure, and a level-minded outlook. I know, it’s easier said than done, but it MUST be done. Being a caretaker is remembering that our loved one still has a very active mind, has emotions, must be treated with dignity and respect, and above all, where possible, must be listened to and have a voice to the furthest extent possible.

If you do all that (and I know I’ve said a mouthful) then you will be able to sleep well knowing that you’re giving your best effort. Remember, do your best and leave the rest.

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