Young or early onset dementia – signs, symptoms and support

You may know someone who is living with dementia, and they may be over 65 years of age. Any form of dementia that develops in people under the age of 65 years is called younger onset dementia or early onset dementia. It can be diagnosed in people who are in their 50’s, 40’s or even 30’s. Younger onset dementia is similar to other types of dementia in many ways.

As the incidence of early-onset dementia is increasing, it brings to light the need for support for both the individuals and families that are living with this condition. Unfortunately, more than half of people living with early-onset dementia may need permanent residential care, and some find getting this care and support difficult as most services today cater to people over the age of 65.

Types of dementia

Dementia includes a variety of cognitive conditions that cause a decline in mental function over time. There are various types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease which is the most common in older people, Vascular dementia and Frontotemporal dementia which is more common in younger people.

For more information about types of dementia, please visit Dementia Australia’s fact sheet here.

Signs of early onset dementia

You may have noticed some changes, unusual or inconsistent behaviours in your loved one. Some of the symptoms of dementia are listed below. Please also be aware that these symptoms can also be related to depression, anxiety, or other physical health conditions so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from your local doctor.

Some of the signs of early onset dementia may include:

  • Memory loss that affects daily living
  • Unusual repetitive behaviour
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Withdrawing from activities that were once enjoyable
  • Familiar daily tasks become difficult
  • Less able to make decisions based on good judgement
  • Struggling to communicate with people

Accessing a NDIS Package

If you have been diagnosed with early onset dementia, there is help and support available through NDIS if you are eligible. The Australian Government has set up the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for people under the age of 65 with a significant disability and this includes early onset dementia.

A NDIS plan will give you the support to help you day to day. You can find out more about applying for NDIS and dementia here.

Dementia care support from St Louis Homes

The pressure on families supporting a loved one with young onset dementia can be very challenging. Getting support as soon as possible can have a positive impact on everyone and ensure that the person living with dementia remains well and independent. We’re here to help you look after those you care for. Care and support for each person is personalised. This means the support can range from occasional respite care to permanent care.

St Louis Homes is a new model of care in South Australia, providing specialised early onset dementia support in a home designed to look and feel just like home.

Each of St Louis’ Homes has been designed and developed for the needs of people living with early onset dementia. A carer is on duty and available 24x7 inside the home, and the homes are luxuriously appointed with modern conveniences and spaces to provide a supportive and flexible environment with all the comforts and normal routines of family life at home.

St Louis Homes embraces a Person-Centered Active support model which considers each individual’s background, interests, and needs, offering personalised support designed to improve health, well-being, and quality of life.

Our luxury homes are located in South Australia across the metropolitan area and the Fleurieu Peninsula, catering to both individuals and couples. The homes are custom-designed and purpose-built with spacious bedrooms with ensuites, expansive shared living areas, natural light, and both garden and landscape views. All homes welcome families to visit. Both permanent and short-term accommodation options are available.

Find out more about short-term respite care or long-term accommodation at St Louis On Sea in Victor Harbor.

Register your interest for new homes opening in Adelaide and the Fleurieu Peninsula.

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St Louis Aged Care is a specialist NDIS SIL (Supported Independent Living) Provider for people with younger onset dementia. If you are eligible for a NDIS plan, we can provide a range of services to support you and your family. Please phone us on 8332 0950 for a confidential discussion about your care needs.

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Early onset dementia