ALS SUPPORT GROUP
The Eleanor & Lou Gehrig MDA/ALS Center offers two support groups for patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their caregivers. The MDA has sponsored the New York City group for over 15 years and now also supports a second group in Westchester.
The groups' primary goals are to educate patients, families and professionals about living with ALS. The support group is educationally oriented and includes a key speaker who presents on a particular subject. Topics may include alternative therapies, home meal delivery service, companion programs, research updates, physical, speech, and occupational therapy, medical equipment, respiratory devices, and financial planning, and more.
The group's second aim is to mobilize the expression of human feelings related to living with the disease. This is done primarily by "telling one's story". The empathy that exists between individuals within the group arises from shared challenges and the "truth" of "one who has been there." During this time, individuals have the opportunity to listen to each other and to give and receive support through the exchange of experiences, feelings, and coping techniques.