What Differences Are There To Late Onset Dementia
When compared to older people, younger people affected by dementia are more likely to:
- have a rarer form of dementia affecting behaviour and social functioning
- have a familial/inherited form of dementia
- report significantly higher psychological and physical distress
- experience employment issues
- have significant financial commitments such as a mortgage
- have a younger and more dependent family
- have additional caring responsibility for parents
There are differences in the types of dementia commonly diagnosed in younger people with dementia compared to those of an older age. For example, only about a third of dementias diagnosed in younger people are of the Alzheimers type in comparison to about 60% in the older age group. For more information visit our facts and figures page.
Stage : Moderate Dementia
Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.
While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.
Where To Get Help
- Your local community health centre
- National Dementia Helpline Dementia Australia ;Tel. 1800 100 500
- Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
- My Aged Care 1800 200 422
- Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
- Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
- Commonwealth Carelink and Respite Centres Australian Government Tel. 1800 052 222
- Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers
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What Changes Can I Expect
- The first signs of young-onset dementia can be similar to those of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, although the sequence in which signs appear varies from person to person. Typical signs include:
- Personality changes, such as abruptness and insensitivity
- Frequent lapses of memory, particularly involving recent memories
- Forgetting appointments or the names of colleagues at work
- Unsettling moments of disorientation in previously familiar places
- Being unable to find the way home
- Becoming confused about familiar tasks such as handling money or placing a call
- Difficulty finding the right words
- Difficulty with voluntary movements or physical coordination
- Struggling to learn new things and adapting to changes at home or at work
- Losing interest in activities that were enjoyed previously
- Withdrawing from social contact;
People Diagnosed Before Age 65 Present Unique Care Challenges
Fewer Canadians are diagnosed with dementia before age 65 than as seniors but their needs can be just as great.
Young-onset dementia is diagnosed before age 65 and tends to be unique in many ways. Early-onset forms of adult neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimers, vascular and frontotemporal dementia are some of the most common causes of dementia in those younger than 65. At the time of diagnosis, people with young-onset dementia may still be working, taking care of their children and parents, and meeting financial commitments . Of all Canadians with dementia, the proportion younger than 65 is approximately 3%. Among the 2,481 patients younger than 65 hospitalized with dementia, 54% were male.
People with young-onset dementia tend to stay longer in hospital, and a higher proportion of them have extremely long hospital stays. This may be due to difficulties in finding age-appropriate services for younger patients. In addition, people with young-onset dementia tend to be physically fit, so finding appropriate home supports may take time.
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Young Onset Dementia Facts & Figures
As with dementia generally, there is conflicting information about the prevalence of young onset dementia.; The low levels of awareness and the difficulties of diagnosing the condition at working-age mean popularly used statistics are likely to be inaccurate and do not reflect the true number of people who are affected.
What Causes Younger Onset Dementia
Many different types of dementia can affect younger people. Each type has its own symptoms and is caused by a specific type of change in the brain. Some causes of early onset dementia are:
- Alzheimers disease
- problems with blood flow to the brain
- deterioration to the front part of the brain
- chronic overuse of alcohol over many years
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Early Dementia Risk Factors Can Show Up In Teens
Alcohol abuse topped the list in large study of Swedish men
TUESDAY, Aug. 13 — Swedish researchers have identified nine risk factors — many occurring during a person’s teens — that are tied to early onset dementia.
The good news is that several of these symptoms and behaviors can be prevented or treated, experts noted.
Early onset dementia occurs before the age of 65. Alcohol abuse was the most important risk factor found in the study, said lead researcher Peter Nordstrom. “In contrast, the influence of hereditary factors, that is dementia in the parents, was very small.”
For the study, published online Aug. 12 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, Nordstrom’s group collected data on men drafted into the Swedish military from mid-1969 through 1979. They were about 18 years old when they were drafted.
During the follow-up period of roughly 37 years, 487 men developed young-onset dementia at an average age of 54, the researchers found.
The risk factors identified “were multiplicative, most were potentially modifiable and could be traced to adolescence, suggesting excellent opportunities for early prevention,” said Nordstrom, from the department of community medicine and rehabilitation at Umea University
Alcohol intoxication, stroke, use of antipsychotic drugs, depression, drug abuse, a father with dementia, poor mental function as a teen, being short and having high blood pressure were the risk factors they found.
Tony In Help On C4 What Condition Does He Have
Events take place in a fictional care home at the start of the pandemic.
Tony is by far the youngest resident in the Liverpool care home as a result of his early-onset Alzheimers diagnosis.
The character of Tony is only 47, but his condition causes periods of confusion and violent outbursts.
There are heartbreaking scenes when he remembers his beloved mother is dead.
Actor Stephen spent time with people who suffer from Alzheimers as research for the role.
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The Importance Of Language
- The language used to talk about younger people with dementia can strongly influence how others treat or view them, and how they feel about themselves.
- For example, referring to people with dementia as sufferers or as victims implies that they are helpless.; This not only strips people of their dignity and self-esteem, it reinforces inaccurate stereotypes and heightens the fear and stigma surrounding dementia.
- Young onset dementia is not necessarily the defining aspect of someones identity.; They are a person first and should always be described, and treated, as such.; Life does not stop when dementia starts.
- Using the correct terms avoids confusion.; There are many forms of dementia.; Alzheimers disease is just one of them and the terms are not interchangeable.
- Young onset or working-age dementia are preferable terms to early onset dementia so as to avoid confusion with the early stages of dementia generally.
The;Dementia Engagement & Empowerment Project; has published;a dementia language guide. ‘Dementia words matter: guidelines on language about dementia’ has been written in collaboration with people who have dementia. ;To download this useful and informative guide, please click;here.;
The Impact Of Dementia For Younger People And Their Families
- Although younger people experience similar symptoms to older people with dementia, the impact on their lives is much greater.; Younger people are more likely to still be working when they are diagnosed.; Many will have significant financial commitments such as a mortgage.; They often have children to care for and dependent parents too.
- Their lives tend to be more active and they have hopes, dreams and ambitions to fulfil up to and beyond their retirement.
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Early Symptoms Of Dementia
Dementia is a collection of symptoms that can occur due to a variety of possible diseases. Dementia symptoms include impairments in thought, communication, and memory.
If you or your loved one is experiencing memory problems, dont immediately conclude that its dementia. A person needs to have at least two types of impairment that significantly interfere with everyday life to receive a dementia diagnosis.
In addition to difficulty remembering, the person may also experience impairments in:
Common Early Symptoms Of Dementia
Different types of dementia can affect people differently, and everyone will experience symptoms in their own way.
However, there are some common early symptoms that may appear some time before a diagnosis of dementia. These include:
- memory loss
- difficulty concentrating
- finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the;correct change when shopping
- struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- being confused about time and place
- mood changes
These symptoms are often mild and may get worse only very gradually. It’s often;termed “mild cognitive impairment” as the symptoms are not severe enough to be diagnosed as dementia.
You might not notice these symptoms;if you have them, and family and friends may not notice or take them seriously for some time. In some people, these symptoms will remain the same and not worsen. But some people with MCI;will go on to develop dementia.
Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. This is why it’s important to talk to a GP sooner rather than later if you’re worried about memory problems or other symptoms.
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Your Behaviors & Moods Have Changed
While it’s totally normal to experience mood changes throughout the day, a major shift in your personality can be a sign of early-onset dementia. And this is something you may pick up on, or it may be pointed out by a friend.
As Dr. Tawwab says, “A significant shift in personality, like shy to outgoing, can represent a decrease in awareness of inhibitions,” which can be a sign of dementia-related changes in the brain. Usually, this is due to the loss of neurons, and the type of behavioral change involved can depend on the part of the brain affected.
When the frontal lobe is impacted, for example, a person might experience changes in their ability to focus or pay attention, since that’s the area responsible for those actions.
What Is Young Onset Dementia
Dementia is a degeneration of the brain that causes a progressive decline in peoples ability to think, reason, communicate and remember. Their personality, behaviour and mood can also be affected. Everyones experience of dementia is unique and the progression of the condition varies. Some symptoms are more likely to occur with certain types of dementia.
Dementia is described as young onset when symptoms develop before the age of 65, usually between 30 to 65 years of age.;It is also referred to as early onset or working age dementia,;but;these terms can cause confusion. Early onset can be interpreted as the early stages of dementia and working age is;now;less defined;as;retirement age is more flexible.
As dementia is frequently, and wrongly, thought of as a condition that is just associated with old age, the early symptoms of young onset dementia are not always recognised and may be attributed to other causes including depression, stress, menopause, physical health problems and relationship issues. This can lead to a significant delay in getting an accurate diagnosis and access to appropriate support. This can have a negative impact on not just the person with dementias life but also the whole family.
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Earlier Prevention And Intervention
Researchers plan to look at a larger number of seniors to determine if the ones with higher amyloid build up have a higher risk for Alzheimers or dementia. Because of the smaller sample size of this study, it was hard to determine how much variability there is among the general population. Some;seniors in the study were found to have the same amount of amyloid buildup that was also seen in the brains of younger adults.
Dr. Yvette Sheline, professor of psychiatry, radiology and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, noted that while it was interesting to see;amyloid accumulation at an early age, the findings were based on a small handful of brain samples and that it was impossible to know if the younger adults would ultimately develop Alzheimers, or if beta-amyloid accumulation is a normal part of human physiology.
Taking into consideration the small sample size, other researchers believe the new findings may be instrumental in providing insight into the beginning of Alzheimers. Geula is hopeful that the findings of his team will lead to early intervention and a new way to treat the disease. He said:
The implication appears to be that if we want to prevent these clumps from forming when a person becomes old, we may need to intervene much earlier than we have thought, to try and get rid of amyloid very early in life.
Take Care Of Yourself
Your help is really important to your loved one’s quality of life. But it’s a lot to take on. You’ll probably feel anxious, depressed, and even angry sometimes. A person with dementia often needs long hours of care and a lot of monitoring, which can make you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. It’s OK to feel this way. Many caregivers do.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Here are some tips to relieve your stress:
- Be realistic. Accept that you can’t do it all alone and that it’s OK to ask for help or say yes when someone offers. It’s also fine to say no.
- Don’t quit your job until your loved one has a definitive diagnosis and you’ve fully explored any employee benefits. This helps keep income flowing and relieves stress about lack of funds, at least temporarily. Talk to your boss about flex options, like telecommuting.
- Stay informed. Learn all you can about early-onset dementia and how it can affect your family’s life. You’ll be better prepared for future changes.
- Talk to others. Get support from family and close friends. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up inside. Sharing your emotions and journey can be helpful. Caregiver support groups are available and may be a safe place for you to discuss your feelings and unwind.
- Walk it off. Exercise is a great stress reliever. It will help you sleep better, think better, and have more energy.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Early
For most people with early-onset Alzheimer disease, the symptoms closely mirror those of other forms of Alzheimer disease.
Withdrawal from work and social situations
Changes in mood and personality
Severe mood swings and behavior changes
Deepening confusion about time, place, and life events
Suspicions about friends, family, or caregivers
Trouble;speaking, swallowing, or walking
Severe memory loss
What Are The Risk Factors
We do not know fully the risk factors for developing young onset dementia. For many people, it just seems to develop. In a proportion of younger people, there is a familial link. Individuals who have at least one close relative with dementia have a two to four times greater risk of developing dementia before the age of 65, most commonly Alzheimers disease. The effect is stronger for those where the close relative had young onset dementia.
A second major risk factor is Downs syndrome. Up to three-quarters of people with Downs syndrome over the age of 50 will develop dementia . This problem is increasingly evident as people with Downs syndrome are living longer now.
In addition, people from black and minority ethnic groups under the age of 65 years seem more likely to be diagnosed with dementia.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Younger Onset Dementia
The symptoms of dementia are similar no matter what age they start. They include:
- memory loss that interferes with daily life
- withdrawing from friends and family
- losing the ability to think clearly or make judgements
- language problems
- changes to behaviour
Many conditions can produce symptoms that are similar to dementia, such as vitamin and hormone deficiencies, depression, medication, infections and brain tumours.
Difficulty Finding The Right Words
Another early symptom of dementia is struggling to communicate thoughts. A person with dementia may have difficulty explaining something or finding the right words to express themselves. Having a conversation with a person who has dementia can be difficult, and it may take longer than usual to conclude.
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About Early Onset Dementia
There is a wider range of diseases that cause early-onset dementia and a younger person is much more likely to have a rarer form of dementia. Alzheimers disease is the most common form of early onset dementia. Other forms are vascular dementia, frontal-temporal dementia, Lewy bodies dementia and Korsakoffs syndrome, which is alcohol related dementia.
People with other conditions, such as Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntingtons disease or HIV and AIDS, may also develop early onset dementia as part of their illness. Also, people with Downs syndrome and other learning disabilities can develop dementia at an early age.
Younger people with dementia experience a range of challenges, which are often different to those that older people face. Younger people are less likely to experience memory loss as one of their early symptoms and may experience changes in behaviour, vision or language first.
There are many things you can do day to day to help you live as well as possible. to read more about practical steps you can take each day. Its important to continue doing things you enjoy. Try to keep things as normal as possible, making changes when you need to. It can help to make the most of every day.
First Steps – its good to talk about Dementia