WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- November is National Family Caregivers Month and The ALS Association wants to say thank you to the 65 million-plus individuals who fill the role of family caregivers to spouses, children, parents and other loved ones dealing with physical, developmental or emotional needs. People suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) require significant support and caregivers are essential in helping manage the day-to-day complexities of the disease.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modestly extends survival.
"The needs of people with ALS are extensive, and caregivers are often family members who fill this crucial role for their loved one who is often struck by the disease in the prime of life," said Jane H. Gilbert, President and CEO of The ALS Association. "On behalf of The ALS Association I want to personally thank each and every caregiver who selflessly gives of themselves to take care of others."
The ALS Association offers individuals the opportunity to thank a caregiver through an online e-card, which can be sent directly from the organization's website www.alsa.org/e-card. People can create customized messages to send via email to the caregiver in their lives who has chosen to fill this vital role.
"Caregivers are often so involved taking care of others that they forget to take care of themselves, especially when caring for a loved one often demands an around the clock commitment," Gilbert continued. "The ALS Association offers resources to help caregivers take care of themselves and to protect their physical and psychological health."
These resources for caregivers, which are available at www.alsa.org/caregivers, include caregiving tips and hints, information on coping with the demands of caregiving, respite care and more. Additionally, The Association will be providing daily caregiving tips and support messages via social media throughout the month of November: Facebook.com/alsassociation and Twitter @alsassociation.
About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org.
SOURCE The ALS Association