Younger / Early Onset Dementia

Early young onset dementia usually affects people who are between 30 and 65 years old. It is also referred to as ‘working age’ dementia. There are more that 40,000 younger people with dementia in the UK.

Dementia that affects younger people can be rare and difficult to recognise. People can also be very reluctant to accept there is anything wrong when they are otherwise fit and well, and they may put off visiting their doctor.

Dementia is a life-changing condition to have at any age, but when you are young and believe you have a long and full life ahead of you, it is all the more difficult to take in.

The period before and after diagnosis may be a very emotional time, as you adjust to living life with dementia.

The symptoms of dementia may be similar regardless of a person's age, but younger people may have different needs, and require some different support.

In general, younger people with dementia are more likely to:

  • be in work at the time of diagnosis
  • have a partner who still works
  • have dependent children
  • have ageing parents who they need to care for
  • be more physically fit and active
  • have heavy financial commitments, such as a mortgage
  • have a rarer form of dementia.

Some people with dementia may want to continue working for some time after their diagnosis, or may wish to take early retirement if this is appropriate.

Alzheimer’s Society can advise on some aspects of work and finances, but people with dementia and carers might need specialist advice. This may be available from a disability employment adviser at the local Jobcentre Plus, or from the local Citizens Advice Bureau.

The Young Onset Dementia Service

The Young Onset Dementia Service works with people who are under the age of 65 with a diagnosis of dementia, living within the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Board Area. The service provides specialist support and rehabilitation for the person with dementia and/or their family and carers.

You can access this service through your local Community Mental Health Team. Your GP cannot refer you directly to the service.