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Care homes not equipped to cope with early onset of dementia

Author: Gemma

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A greater number of care homes will be needed in the next few years across the UK in order to help deal with the increasing number of people who are getting dementia at an earlier age.

According to the latest report released by the Alzheimer’s Society, some 42,325 people in the UK are currently suffering with young onset dementia. This refers to those who are still of standard working age – normally between 30 and 65-years old.

It added that this is a problem that’s set to grow in the future as well, with predictions stating that by the year 2051, the number of people with young onset dementia could rise to as much as 50,000.

And yet despite people with this condition having completely different needs to older people with the same condition, the society said there is a lack of support around for sufferers, who are often parents, and are still working and can even have a mortgage to pay.

People who are suffering from this condition will still want to have the freedom to be able to go to work, but will also want to know that specialist care is available to them when they need it.

And even more than in older people’s care homes, younger sufferers are looking for modernity and amenities. Many care homes, for example, look dated, while others will not have access to Wi-Fi. While this is often not a problem for older people, it is something that needs to be addressed for young onset dementia sufferers with up-to-date care home options.

While the focus for care home investment is often on the older end of the age spectrum, along with the call for a greater level of building in this area, it is clear that there is a need for more care homes to be constructed that specifically address the needs of younger people, both in terms of care and the facilities they need to live a full life.

Tessa Gutteridge, director of YoungDementia UK said: “Most people with young onset dementia don’t get the support they need. Part of the problem is that it is a scattered population. Because of this, we are missing a strong, collective voice and we don’t have a visible, national entity.”

Keith Dickens, whose wife Laura suffers with young onset dementia, told Carehome.co.uk: “Putting your spouse into a care home is always the last resort, but the prospect of a place designed specifically to meet the needs of younger people with dementia would be great.”

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