A home health OT sees a man with middle stage Huntington’s disease once per week for adaptations to his home. The man is married with teenage children and was independent in all activities prior to his diagnosis. The man’s wife tells the OT that the man becomes very upset every time he must manage the family’s finances because the tasks involved have become very difficult and his symptoms become worse as a result. She has offered to take over managing the finances, but the man is proud and refuses. What should the OT do?
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Advise the man to allow his wife to take over the finances so he can reduce his stress levels and his symptoms. Stress exacerbates the symptoms of Huntington’s Disease. If the task of managing finances is causing the man enough stress that his symptoms become worse, then it is an activity that he should probably give up. Since the man has middle stage Huntington’s, his ability to manage the finances has probably declined to a point that he will have difficulty with the tasks even if he uses adaptations. Allowing the bank to manage finances through automated payments will take away any amount of input the family has when paying bills, which will cause the man additional stress. The OT should advise the wife to have a discussion with her husband about giving up the job of managing the family finances to lower his stress levels.
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