Help us to be there to support mental wellbeing
Suffolk Mind is launching a new service to support people in Suffolk who have traits or a diagnosis of young onset dementia. Figures suggest that those who live with the condition may be up to 6-9% of all people with dementia. Overall in Suffolk, it is estimated that 12,800 people are living with dementia.
Suffolk Mind will be working together with people aged between 30 and 60 who are living with dementia in Suffolk Coastal. Although younger people experience similar symptoms to older people with dementia, the impact on their lives is often much greater.
Project Co-ordinator, Sue Gray, said: “Sometimes younger people get dementia – sometimes as young as 30 – they often feel isolated and shocked – and are facing many challenges around work, children and the surprise of having what we usually think of as an ‘old person’s disease’.
“Dementia is a life changing condition at any age but when you are young it is all the more difficult to take in and adjust to”.
The charity will be hosting support groups, inviting as many people as possible to discuss what would help them live better and well with the condition. At present, there’s no other service in the area available to individuals who have been diagnosed with young onset dementia.
With information gathered from these groups, a trial will be set up with ideas and interventions, to evaluate the impact on people involved. The research and evaluation aspect of the project will be collaborative and aims to increase the knowledge around how someone is diagnosed with dementia at a younger age.
Sue Gray added: “Suffolk Mind’s project will gather information with people affected and together with them provide more of what they need to adjust and cope with their new challenges. We’ll aim to help them get a life that works in the new direction life has now taken.
“Suffolk Mind’s offer will include information and tools about how important it is to meet our emotional and physical needs, which underpin good mental wellbeing and health for us all in any situation.”