ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system, characterized by the death of the motor neurons. ALS results in gradual, progressive weakness and wasting away of voluntary muscles, often leading to total paralysis. The life expectancy of a person living with ALS is usually two to five years from diagnosis. There is no known cause or cure for ALS, but advances in medical technology are allowing people with ALS to lead more independent and productive lives. The ALS Association is the largest private funder of ALS research worldwide, and our efforts have led to some of the most promising and significant advances in ALS research as we search for treatments and a cure.
The ALS Association has been serving the state of Minnesota since 1985. Our Care Services team offers supportive programs and services, all free of charge, to individuals and families living with ALS throughout the state, providing support during the difficult time of change and uncertainty. Our Care Services team offers an array of supportive programs and services, all provided free of charge, to help ease the stress of Caregivers. These programs are designed to offer guidance, information, and resources during the difficult times of change and uncertainty that come with an ALS diagnosis. Consider making a gift on Giving Tuesday to help fund the programs that support Caregivers in our community:
Our monthly support groups provide a supportive environment for people living with ALS, families, and caregivers, to share information and resources for the many challenges while battling ALS.
Our Augmentative Communication Device Loan Program is centered on a loan closet of augmentative and alternative communication devices ranging from low-tech communication boards to computerized devices with synthesized speech. We partner with speech therapists who provide evaluations and training.
Our Durable Medical Equipment Loan Program provides access to durable medical equipment and assistive devices including wheelchairs, scooters, power lifts, and aids to assist with activities of daily living.
Our care service coordinators participate at ALS Clinics, where a multidisciplinary care model brings together a team of healthcare professionals specially trained to address the needs of people living with ALS, allowing them to receive care from each discipline during a single visit.
Our Quality of Life Grant Program provides grants to individuals diagnosed with ALS for costs associated with their diagnosis, such as for communication devices, medical expenses, home modifications, home care, and transportation needs. The grant program has helped many families to offset the high out-of-pocket costs associated with an ALS diagnosis.
Our Ramp Program, which began this year, assists with funding the installation of temporary modular ramps for people living with ALS, allowing them to continue navigating their homes and other buildings/areas in order to maintain their independence and quality of life.
The Senator Tomassoni Caregiver Support Program (launching November 1). The Senator Tomassoni Caregiver Support Program is a new Minnesota state-funded program to be provided through The ALS Association. This Program will offer caregivers of persons with ALS living in Minnesota an annual award to help cover the costs associated with in-home support.
In the last year, generous support has allowed us to accomplish the following: