Young-onset dementia

Young-onset, working-age dementia or early-onset dementia refers to people who develop symptoms before the age of 65.

Dementia is the broad term for a specific range of conditions which are caused by abnormal changes in the brain. These changes can affect people's cognitive abilities, behaviour, emotions and relationships. People living with dementia may experience feelings of distress and anxiety due to being disoriented and confused.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer's disease affects the connections between nerve cells in the brain. Proteins build up and form abnormal structures called 'plaques' which cause nerve cells to die and brain tissue to be lost. Vascular dementia accounts for about a third of cases and is caused by blocked blood vessels the brain. Lewy body dementia accounts for 5 to 10 per cent of cases and is closely linked to Parkinson's disease.

Understanding young-onset dementia

Young-onset, working-age dementia or early-onset dementia refers to people who develop symptoms before the age of 65. When it comes to younger people living with dementia, we know that there can be further complications and sensitivities. We guide and support individuals and families to cope with these unique challenges, which might include young children still living at home, the impact of the inability to work or take part in usual activities, financial commitments and the individuals' response to the progression of their illness.

Younger people are more likely to have a rarer form of dementia, which can sometimes be genetic. Rarer forms of dementia can include Pick's disease, also known as Frontotemporal Dementia, which causes significant changes in personality and behaviour and Korsakoff's Syndrome, which is caused by a severe deficiency of thiamine and is often the result of alcoholism.

The life-changing impact of dementia

People with young-onset dementia may experience decreased or poor judgement and withdrawal from work or social activities. People can often experience memory loss, becoming withdrawn or anxious, experiencing difficulty concentrating, struggling to follow a conversation and being confused about time and place.

People with dementia may experience initial memory loss, mainly when it comes to learning new information and remembering recent events. As dementia progresses, people may experience difficulties with speech and following a conversation, challenges with planning and organising, and may become confused. Some people also experience problems with judging distances or managing stairs. Often, people experience mood changes and may become anxious, depressed, withdrawn and irritable.

Some people with vascular dementia may also experience stroke-like symptoms such as weakness and temporary paralysis on one side of the body. People with Lewy Bodies dementia may also experience issues with sleep and may experience drowsiness and visual hallucination. For some who live with frontotemporal dementia, symptoms might include a lack of social awareness and risk of developing obsessions.

As dementia progresses, people are very likely to need constant support to ensure their safety in terms of mobility, behaviour, personal care and risk of choking, which can be very challenging outside of a specialist service. In the later stages of dementia, people can become aggressive.

A proactive approach to dementia support

When you are looking for care and support for someone living with early-onset dementia, you can trust our approach. Our specialist team is skilled in supporting people who live with a range of dementia, including Pick's disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, Korsakoff's Syndrome and other early-onset dementias.

The skilled team at Inspire Neurocare can respond to people's feelings of confusion and distress, avoiding and de-escalating situations which may cause people to become agitated or upset.

Inspire Neurocare's occupational therapists work with people with dementia to make everyday tasks easier or more achievable. The aim of this is to keep people living with as much independence as they can, for as long as possible.

Keeping physically active is essential, and our physiotherapy team can support people to improve their mobility in the early stages of the disease.

Individuals with a diagnosis of dementia may need support to come to terms with the impact of the disease. Changes in mood and confusion as the condition progresses can cause distress. Inspire Neurocare's neuropsychologists support people to assess and understand their emotional wellbeing, cognitive and behavioural state, on hand to help people with the emotional and mental health implications of their changing lives.

Supporting people to live independent lives for as long as possible

Our specialist interdisciplinary team can support people to maintain their independence for as long as possible and reduce their feelings of distress.

Our interdisciplinary team of therapists includes speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who develop personal rehabilitation plans which allow people to set personal goals which are most relevant to their lives. These teams are supported by our Life Skills Facilitators, who continue therapeutic interventions following sessions and the Wellbeing and Lifestyle Coordinators, who ensure that people are helped to live their lives as they choose.

At Inspire Neurocare, people with dementia are supported with positive feedback and close observation. People are encouraged to exercise, socialise and to take part in meaningful activity to stimulate their minds. The support we provide encompasses a range of physical, behavioural, cognitive, emotional, communication and social specifically developed for people living with the neurological impact of dementias.

Make a referral or arrange a visit to Inspire Neurocare

At Inspire Neurocare, we work very closely with the individual, family members, the referring team and any current care providers to ensure a positive transition to our service. Please contact us to arrange a virtual tour or to discuss a referral or admission:

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