Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy can improve communication skills, memory and teach alternative ways of communicating. It can also help with swallowing problems.
Communication aids can sometimes be helpful, as they allow communication without the need for talking. For example, you can point to symbols on a chart to indicate your mood or whether you're hungry.
The family of someone with Huntington's disease will need to be patient and supportive. They can try alternative ways of communicating if speech is a problem.
Help with Mealtimes
People with Huntington's disease need to have a high-calorie diet. A dietitian can help you work out an appropriate diet plan.
To help with eating and drinking, food should be easy to chew, swallow and digest. It can be cut into small pieces or puréed to prevent choking. Feeding equipment is also available, such as special straws and non-slip mats.
At some point, it may be necessary to use a feeding tube that goes directly into the stomach. If a person with Huntington's disease doesn't want to be artificially fed during the later stages of the condition, they should make their wishes known to their family and doctor. They may want to consider making an advance decision (a living will) or a statement of wishes and preferences.