Families in Iowa fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease will have additional help thanks to The ALS Association Iowa Chapter’s newly launched Volunteer Family Assistance Program, which pairs volunteers from all over the state with families affected by ALS.
“The debilitating nature of ALS makes even the most basic tasks impossible, and that puts a lot of stress on family and friends who are trying to help out,” Sarah Lettow, engagement coordinator at The ALS Association Iowa Chapter, stated in a press release. “With this program, we are aiming to make the lives of people with ALS and their families a little easier to manage.”
Volunteers are needed all over Iowa to help people battling ALS with chores such as vacuuming, meal preparation, dog walking and dusting. Some are also just looking for a companion to chat with occasionally.
“Caregivers are a huge part of the ALS journey, and most people with the disease choose to get care in their homes,” Krista Strait-Higgins, director of care services at The ALS Association Iowa Chapter, stated in a press release. “Providing relief for a caregiver allows them time to take time for themselves, allowing them to give better care to their loved ones.”
Lou Gehrig’s Disease, also known as ALS, is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control muscle movement. The disease robs those afflicted the ability to walk, talk, eat and eventually breathe. Those with ALS generally live only two to five years after diagnosis.
Each program volunteer will go through an interview, reference and background check before working with a family in their area. To learn more or get involved with the Volunteer Family Assistance Program, visit The ALS Association Iowa Chapter’s website at www.alsaiowa.org.