What Is Early-Onset Dementia?
Dementia that begins earlier in life is rare, but it does happen. Early-onset dementia can start as early as 30, but usually happens around age 50. Because it starts so much earlier in life, early-onset dementia comes with some unique challenges for individuals, as well as their families.
Someone diagnosed with early-onset dementia might still have:
- Children who are dependent on them
- A career
- A mortgage or other big financial commitments
A caretaker for someone with early dementia has more to consider. They may need to accommodate specific family, career, financial and legal needs.
Early-Onset Dementia – Preparing for the Future
Dementia is a progressive disease. That means that over time, your loved one’s condition will deteriorate. The rate of deterioration is different for everyone. The best way to keep your loved one and your family protected for the future is to get a power of attorney (POA) as soon as possible. A POA is a legal document that ensures that if your loved one should become unable to make their own legal, medical and/or financial decisions, you or another trusted person can handle it for them.
Don’t Be Afraid To Reach Out for Help
Caring for a loved one can be difficult and very emotional, especially with the added shock that comes with an early-onset dementia diagnosis. But it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do this alone. Reach out to the people in your life. You might be surprised by how much they’re willing to help. Friends and family can offer emotional support, like giving advice or encouragement, or practical support, like helping you with caregiving tasks or other obligations.
And if you need a bit more help, that’s ok, too! If you’re completely new to dementia, take a look through our resources for information and tips on caring for someone with dementia. And if you feel like you’re struggling, we’re here for you. We offer respite care, as well as long-term care for dementia.
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