Meet Diane, diagnosed with ALS in late September of 2019. Diane is a retired Banking Center Manager VP, married to her husband Bob - whom she shares 2 daughters and 3 grandsons with. Diane often relys on her husband to help her with simple tasks, such as getting dressed.
On average, it takes most people 20-30 minutes to get ready in the morning. We pick out clothes, get dressed, wash our face, etc. For those living with ALS, it often requires much more time. For Diane, her routine takes an hour – and requires some assistance.
“Bob, my husband, is always ready to help with buttons, zippers, etc. The ALS Association Iowa Chapter has loaned me tools to help with buttons and zippers, and has given me suggestions on clothing that are designed to help ease this task.” To help ease this task for Iowans living with ALS, donate today to ensure our loan closet is always full of adaptive equipment. All items in our loan closet are free to those we serve!
Asking for help is often something many people find hard to do. We do not like to show any signs of weakness or vulnerability. Wendy is no different. Diagnosed with ALS in July of 2018, Wendy finds asking for help to be the hardest part of living with ALS.
“I'm a type A personality and usually the one to take care of everyone. The hardest part is having to rely on others to do everything for me. It kills me to sit and watch.” Some of the things that Wendy needs assistance with are getting dressed, brushing her teeth, showering and styling her hair. Because of this, everything takes more time.
The average time most people take to brush their teeth is 45 seconds. For Wendy, it’s a 5-minute task. Most of us can put our pajamas on in under a minute. With assistance, Wendy is dressed and ready for bed in 5 minutes. How about laying down in bed? Again, most people can lay down quite quickly, but it is another 5-10 minute task for Wendy and her caregiver.
Thankfully, adaptive tools can help! Wendy has a walk-in shower with handrails, shower chair and handrails around the toilet. Items, such as a shower chair, are all part of our Equipment Loan Closet. If you donate today, we can continue to provide these necessary items to those who need it most.
Tim, a former paper salesman, was diagnosed with ALS in August of 2017. Tim spends 90 minutes getting himself ready every morning. Eating has also slowed down for him - he has spasms in his throat, requiring him to slow the process down. His tongue has also stopped moving, so he often bites his tongue and cheeks while eating.
For Tim, communicating with loved ones has slowed down. Now having slurred speech, friends and family often have a hard time understanding him on the phone and hearing him in loud settings. With his voice not being as strong as it once was, he must slow his speech down in order to be better heard and understood.
With conversations moving quickly, people living with ALS often feel left out. They cannot get their words out quick enough before the topic has moved on - often leaving them to refrain from the conversation altogether.
Together we can ensure that all voices are heard! Our Chapter provides assistive technology, such as speech generating devices, to help our families stay connected and engaged in conversations. Your donation will make sure that Tim will always be heard!