Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Support for younger onset dementia

18 April 2012

The NSW Government has confirmed its support for people with early onset dementia by announcing a $1 million three year pilot that will provide 40 flexible person centred packages and individualised choice.

Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, Andrew Constance, made the announcement after attending a forum on younger onset dementia hosted by Alzheimer’s Australia NSW for the community care sector in Sydney.

Packages will be available across the state and ongoing action research will be conducted to ensure they are responsive to individual need. 

An estimate of the number of people with dementia under the age of 65 is approximately 5000 people in NSW. Around 70 per cent of these people are in the age group 59-64.

“The aim is to improve quality of life for younger people with dementia and their carers living at home, by promoting active lifestyles, maintaining social networks, and providing support to navigate the care support network,” Mr Constance said.

“An important issue for younger people with dementia is that they may still be raising children. The unexpected diagnosis of dementia has an impact on family relationships, employment and financial security, emotions and friendships – not just for the person with dementia, but for their partner and children.”

“Younger people with dementia have particular difficulties accessing the right kind of services because their age means they have different needs and different lifestyles.”

“A person-centred approach is the O’Farrell Government’s way of responding to the unique circumstances of people’s lives, by fully involving the person with dementia and their family in planning the supports they want in their own life.”

People with younger onset dementia receive support through the Home and Community Care program to help them continue to live at home. There are already some HACC services that are specifically for people with younger onset dementia in NSW.

The three-year pilot will commence in late 2012.

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