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Dementia Australia has released two online resources developed with assistance from the New South Wales Government’s Family and Community Services to improve support, care and knowledge of services available for people living with younger onset dementia.
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, while also encouraging health professionals to gain a better understanding of the specific needs for people living with younger onset dementia.
Although the likelihood of a diagnosis increases as we age, dementia can be diagnosed in younger people in their 50’s, 40’s or even as young as 30’s.
Younger onset dementia describes any form of dementia diagnosed 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.
“These statistics highlight the necessity of the resources we now have available,” Acting General Manager Services Dementia Australia Barbra Williams said.
“People diagnosed at an earlier age and who are often still physically strong and active often face challenges which may impact their work, family and finances.
“The new resources are designed to assist professionals and family members by providing an improved understanding of the options available for people with younger onset dementia.
“Where families and carers have a better understanding of younger onset dementia, 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, while ‘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 website. The ‘Support Pathways for People with Younger Onset Dementia’ is available for download on the Dementia Australia website at www.dementia.org.au/resources/support-pathways-for-people-with-younger-onset-dementia
Dementia Australia also operates a Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker Program to ensure the specific needs of people with younger onset dementia are met through the provision of information, support, counselling and advice, and works with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to ensure clients are matched to services that meet their individual needs.
For more information about the Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker Program call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit the Dementia Australia younger onset dementia website.
Dementia Australia is the national peak body for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 425,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than 1.1 million by 2056. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.
National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500
Interpreter service available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area
Media contacts: Anna Townend 0435 532 214
When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.
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