Huntington's Disease Support
Many people with Huntington's disease are eager and able to participate in activities outside the home. Therapeutic work and recreation centers give individuals an opportunity to pursue hobbies and interests and to meet new people. Participation in these programs, including occupational, music, and recreational therapy, can reduce the person's dependence on family members and provide home caregivers with a temporary, much needed break.
A few communities have group housing facilities that are supervised by a resident attendant. These facilities provide meals, housekeeping services, social activities, and local transportation services for residents. These living arrangements are particularly suited to the needs of individuals who are alone and who, although still independent and capable, risk injury when they undertake routine chores like cooking and cleaning.
The physical and emotional demands of caring for a person with Huntington's disease may eventually become overwhelming. While many families may prefer to keep relatives with Huntington's disease at home whenever possible, a long-term care facility may prove to be the best option. To hospitalize or place a family member in a care facility is a difficult decision; professional counseling can help families with this.
Finding the proper facility can be a difficult task. Organizations such as the Huntington's Disease Society of America may be able to refer the family to facilities that have met standards set for the care of individuals with Huntington's disease. Very few of these exist, however, and even fewer have experience with individuals with juvenile (early-onset) Huntington's disease who require special care because of their age and symptoms.