Mental health therapist resources for my mom (possibly sister too?)

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athielqueen

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Hello! I searched the threads and hope I’m not asking a redundant question, apologies if so.

My father was diagnosed with bulbar onset ALS last month after months of progressively concerning symptoms. He has already had a PEG placed and doing, on average, 1 feeding a day to supplement. He also recently got his suction machine last week and using it regularly. He’s also quickly losing his voice. My mom is a retired hospice nurse and my sister is also a nurse within the VA (my father is receiving services at the VA ALS clinic.) My background is in social services, primarily in mental health and hospice. We’re very lucky to have these backgrounds since they have definitely helped prepare us (and how we treat/care from this wonderful man.)

That said, I have some significant mental health issues, and have a wonderful therapist who I see weekly (now via telehealth due to COVID) for almost 2 years. However, my mom and sister REALLY could use some therapeutic support now, and continuing through this process. He is declining much quicker than we thought, and it’s scary and painful. He was (is) such a vibrant, kind, compassionate man. It also doesn’t help that my parents moved 2 hours away from our childhood home and hometown (where my sister still lives) in July. Per their request (my mom moreso) I’ve been trying to help them find available therapists. Due to COVID though, I’m running into roadblock after roadblock; lots of closed panels and waiting lists, understandably. With their permission, I signed them up to receive counseling resource info on iamals.org. They haven’t heard anything as of yet, which again, is understandable. My mom has asked the ALS clinic SW for resources too, but nothing yet.

My question is: are there any mental health resources, namely mental health therapists, available for ALS caregivers? They both have insurance and my mom could even private pay. For reference, they are located in IA. Thank you so much for any insight or information!

Sending you all big hugs on this difficult journey we’re all on ❤️
 

lgelb

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A sad welcome, Portland. We're here for whatever you might need, and your dad, mom and/or sister as well, if they would like to join.

Are your mom and sister looking for virtual or in-person counseling? I would start with public and private
agencies that support caregiving and senior services, for referrals -- I don't see that it has to be ALS-specific. And the University of Iowa, Iowa State and so on. In the states with which I'm more familiar, caseloads are down to the point where new private pay or commercially insured clients are welcomed, and generally telehealth reimbursement is open to any therapist in the state.

Best,
Laurie
 

athielqueen

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Joined
Aug 8, 2020
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Loved one DX
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08/2020
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Portland
Thank you! Those are good ideas.
 
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