'Void' in care for those diagnosed with early onset dementia – Alzheimer’s Society comment

Families are being 'devastated' by a 'void' in care provided for people who develop dementia under the age of 65, according to a leading nurse.

Fiona Chaabane has been appointed as the first dedicated nurse in the UK to co-ordinate care for patients living with younger onset brain disorders.

More than 40,000 people in the UK are estimated to have been diagnosed with younger onset dementia and Ms Chaabane said the majority were 'squeezed' into more mainstream services that may lack the expertise or experience in managing the condition.

Sally Copley, Director of Policy, Campaigns and Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'It’s great to see recognition of the fact that younger people with dementia have different needs – and to see this embedded in clinical practice.

'We know younger people with dementia are likely to still be working, or have children to take care of, and may need completely different support to someone older. This is why we are supporting research that aims to improve the diagnosis, care and post-diagnostic support services for this often-overlooked group.

'Having the right help set up from the start stops people with dementia becoming isolated, and prevents them reaching crisis point and ending up in hospital, so we are thrilled to see the appointment of this specialist nurse role and hope to see it replicated.

'Younger people with dementia tell us that support groups with people much older than them can be alienating, so we’ve developed an innovative service – Side by Side – which pairs people with dementia and volunteers with shared interests to give one to one support.

'Anyone in need of support or advice on dementia should call the Alzheimer’s Society helpline on 0300 222 11 22.'

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