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According to current definitions, young-onset dementias are dementias that develop before the age of 65. Indeed, many of these dementias typically begin before the age of 60. The commonest causes of young-onset dementias are Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementias, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, vascular dementias (which result from different types of strokes) and a wide variety of inherited, metabolic, and genetic conditions that can produce dementia.
The young-onset dementias present a number of challenges. These challenges include delayed or ambiguous diagnosis, rapid progression in some forms, threats to family income, issues pertaining to dependent children and to parenting, lack of age-appropriate respite-care services and a long-life expectancy for spouses who survive the sufferer.
Our clinical services for young-onset dementias are designed to directly address these problems by providing a comprehensive clinical care program that integrates traditional dementia care with an array of support and social work services. These services include:
- Clarification of diagnosis
- Treatment of symptoms associated with dementia
- Dementia-care education
- Support groups (in partnership with the local Alzheimer's Association and several national support groups).
- Social work services
- Practical assistance in the management of employment and retirement, and in completing disability applications
- Guidance in the planning of long-term care and in the long-term management of social and financial resources
- Clinic liaison with respite and residential programs
- Guidance with issues pertaining to dependent children
- Home visits (in certain circumstances)