KEY DIAGNOSIS: Early planning with younger onset dementia is essential.
KEY DIAGNOSIS: Early planning with younger onset dementia is essential. AlexRaths

More younger Aussies diagnosed with dementia

ONCE thought an affliction only of the ageing the evidence shows dementia is striking Australians at a younger age.

As Dementia Australia has warned so often, northern NSW is a growing hot spot with the Coffs Coast right in the firing line.

Although the likelihood of a diagnosis increases as we age, dementia can be diagnosed in younger people in their 50s, 40s or even as young as 30s.

Younger onset dementia describes any diagnosis in people under the age of 65.

An estimated 26,443 Australians are currently living with younger onset dementia and this figure is predicted to increase to more than 42,000 by 2056.

Dementia Australia's Barbra Williams said people diagnosed when younger are often still physically strong and active but face challenges that may impact their work, family and finances.

"Two online resources have been developed with assistance from NSW Family and Community Services to improve support, care and knowledge of services available for people living with younger onset dementia,” she said.

"The resources will improve awareness around complex issues that follow a diagnosis for a young person, the impact it may have on their family and how to best support carers.

"They also encourage health professionals to gain a better understanding of the specific needs for people living with younger onset dementia.

"Where families and carers have a better understanding, the quality of life for them and the person with the diagnosis can be improved.”

Understanding Younger Onset Dementia is a free online training module for health professionals and support staff.

Support Pathways for People with Younger Onset Dementia provides referral, service choices and options for families impacted by dementia.

The online training is available through the Centre for Dementia Learning

The second program may be downloaded from www.dementia.org.au/resources/support-pathways-for-people-with-younger-onset-dementia



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