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How can I help my auntie?

November 18, 2011

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

HDYO has more information about HD available for young people, parents and professionals on our site:

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How can I help my auntie?

Q. “Is there any thing i can do to help my auntie who has Huntington’s? She’s in a care home.” Emma, 11, England

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A. Emma,

That’s a fantastic question! It’s great that you are wanting to help your auntie adjust to her life in the care home. Here are few things you can do to help her feel even more comfortable:

  • You and your family can help decorate her room with family pictures, artwork you’ve made for her, or even pictures of her favorite musicians or favorite places. Anything that can help make her place feel special.
  • You could even get her a fun pillow, blanket, or quilt for her to snuggle with! (If you wanted to, you could even make the blanket or quilt!)
  • When you visit, tell her about the things that you’re doing in your life. Things like, the books you’re reading, any sports you play, how your classes are going and what kind of things you do when you’re with family and friends!
  • Ask her what she has been doing and encourage her to get involved in the activities going on at the care home. Doing this can motivate her to get involved and help the time pass when she is waiting for the next time you visit!
  • When you visit are there any games you can play together? Card games, board games, or even just watching TV or a movie that you both think you would enjoy. If she likes books, you can bring her one and read to her. Reading it aloud will be fun for both of you and even help you work on your reading skills!
  • If she isn’t on a special diet, feel free to bring her a fun snack! Bringing her a malt, ice cream or one of her favorite snacks will be fun for the both of you!
  • Remember: your visits don’t need to be super long. Even if you can only schedule a short visit, that’s okay! I’m sure she will be excited to see you whether the visit is short or long!
  • Whenever you visit, you’re not only able to hangout with your auntie, but, you’re also helping the staff members at the care home get to know more about her and this will help the staff take better care of her.
  • Always do your best to remember to give her BIG hugs and tell her you love her often! It’s good for the both of you to express how much you two care for one another.

If you have any more questions, you should go visit the HDYO website! Go to the “Visiting a Care Home” section, where there will be even more suggestions for you.

Thank you for asking this question, I know many others were wondering the same thing! You’re a very smart young girl. Good for you for wanting to know more about what you can do to help your auntie! I hope you find these tips helpful, Emma!

Gwen Johnson - care worker