May is ALS Awareness Month

May 2022 has been designated as ALS Awareness Month. “ALS” stands for “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis”. This is a progressive disease type that is neurodegenerative in nature. It directly affects the nerve cells that are located within the brain and throughout the spinal cord. The breakdown of the name “Amyotrophic” in Greek translates to “no muscle nourishment”. When muscles are not properly “nourished”, they start to atrophy, or “waste away”. As the areas in the spinal cord and brain experience degeneration, the “sclerosis” sets in. This is scarring or hardening of the region. This condition is often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”.

ALS Awareness MonthWhy is ALS Also Called Lou Gehrig’s Disease?

Originally identified in the year of 1869 by a neurologist in France that was named Jean-Martin Charcot, it became well known in the late 30s and early 40s because it ended the career of the famous baseball player named Lou Gehrig. On his 36th birthday, Gehrig had an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester in the State of Minnesota and was diagnosed with the condition. He suffered from the loss of his strength, impaired coordination, and slips and falls. The diagnosis was received in 1939. Shortly after receiving the diagnosis, he retired from the sport. To this day, many still refer to ALS as “Lou Gehrig’s disease” because he was one of the most well-known cases and is continuously honored for being such a wonderful individual with a high level of sportsmanship.

History of National Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month

In May of 1992, the United States Senate passed what was identified as the “Joint Resolution 174”. This designated the Month of May as one that would be observed as the National Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month. To put it officially into play, the President at the time – George H.W Bush – had to sign a document known as the proclamation of number “6426”. Ever since that time, ALS Awareness Month is celebrated each May.

What is the Purpose of National ALS Awareness Month?

During May of each year, various types of events are put on around the nation. These are designed to promote research of the disease and to assist in providing improved levels of support for those that are diagnosed with the condition, as well as the loved ones who care for them. It is also a month where funding and research is encouraged into the effort to come up with an effective treatment or a solid cure for the condition. For information on the events taking place this year, you may visit the Muscular Dystrophy Association as well as the ALS Association. You may get directly involved in ALS Awareness Month this May by doing the following:

  • Donate Funds
  • Learn About Individuals with the Condition
  • Act as an Advocate for Patients of the Disease
  • Stay Connected to Organizations Associated with ALS
  • Get Involved with Events to Increase Awareness
  • Participate in the Walk to Promote Defeating the Illness

Helping Your Loved One with ALS

If you have a loved one with ALS, there are many tools, resources, and types of assistance available. These include various types of therapies to increase strength and reduce discomfort, adult day care services that you may utilize when you are unable to care for your loved one, literature on the topic, assisted living facility assistance, and skilled nursing care offered in residential settings. To learn more, you may contact us here at Beacon Senior Advisors today by calling the following number: 973-384-1177

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