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Huntington's Help

by LRICH94 LRICH94 (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Geriatrics/ALZ, MDS/CPC. Has 12 years experience.

I could really use some help. I have been in the LTC business for 12 years, but have NO Huntington's experience. My father-in-law has Huntington's and moved in with us today. He is what I would call middle stage. His coordination is bad, he's lost so much weight he's skeletal. I can't understand him most of the time. He and my mother-in-law no longer live together. Because of the mild dementia he has been displaying it led to "near blows" by each party. My father-in-law then moved to his daughter's nearly 2 hours away. He had been driving to our house once a month to spend the weekend with my husband (who is his step-son), myself and our 2 young children who he adores. The last 2 months after a stay at our house, he returned to borrow money from my mother-in-law, claiming he was broke. We have no idea where his money was going. My mother-in-law, can be a bit overbearing. She has no patience and believes she is right at all times. She also feels the need to tell everyone around her what to do in an unsubtle way. She of coarse called my father-in-laws daughter and accused her of stealing his money. He now wants nothing to do w/ his wife in any type of financial situation. Fastforward to today. At my father-in-laws request, my husband will be opening a joint checking account w/ my father-in-law. Is there a nice way of helping him w/ his finances? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to be in control of his checkbook without making him feel like he's not in control? Right now independence is a HUGE issue with him. I understand that as I have worked long term care for so long. Any help I can get would be great. :banghead:

I don't have a lot of experience with Huntington's- but I do have a suggestion as far as the checking account. Get one where your husband has access to online banking... you can easily track purchases, make transfers, etc without him having to "give up" the checkbook.


Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool. Has 30 years experience.

I have had several families members on my fathers side who suscumbed to Huntingtons. It is a devestating disease. I suggest someone having power of attorney and medical guardianship in place on your father in law. Realize in time, you will need to look for placement for him as he will only continue to decline. One of my relatives went to a unit in the Twin Cities area which specialized in Huntingtons. This was helpful for not only him but other family members.

txredheadnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Correctional, QA, Geriatrics. Has 39 years experience.

Go online and find your nearest Huntington's support group. You will need to have resource people to go to because this condition has many challenges. As a previous poster noted you need to also get the legal things lined up now because your family member will not be able to make informed choices as the disease progresses and he loses cognitive function. In addition there are an entire array of physical issues and changes associated with this condition.

My heart goes out to you. This is a difficult situation to handle and you will need to be willing to seek and accept help in order to cope with it all for everyones sake.

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