Patient with Huntington’s Disease enjoys woodwork

It is Huntington’s Disease (HD) Awareness Week, and we’re proud to help share more about this often misunderstood condition.

Huntington’s Disease is an extremely rare, genetic neurodegenerative condition which affects the central nervous system, impacting on the individual’s muscle control, their ability to speak and swallow, as well as their cognition and mental health.

However with the right support and care, individuals with HD can live fun and meaningful lives. At St Andrew’s Healthcare Northampton, we care for around 24 people with the disease, ensuring they – and their families – receive the care, advice and support they need.

Patient GB has been enjoying spending time undertaking woodwork, as this video shows.

Ken Ainsworth, Vocational skills instructor, has been working with the patient for almost a year. He explained: “GB has a woodwork background, he has now been attending this session for around 12 months.

"Right from his first session he has shown a real interest in waxing, using his hands with guidance to paint with a brush. Most of all he really likes using the drill with the screwdriver attachment to assemble kits like planters, stools and small wooden tractors that I make for him to work on during his session.

“He has really started to show good levels of hand to eye coordination when trying to get the screwdriver on the head of the screws, and he also shows good levels of control when it comes to stopping the drill.

He gives each session 100% almost every time, and what started as one hour per week is now three and a half hours over two sessions. GB is a real inspiration, not just for everyone with Huntington’s Disease, but also for the many people that are mostly reliant on wheelchairs.”

We have, in association with the Huntington's Disease Association, created a mini guide about HD