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Rising levels of dementia in under 65s

PUBLISHED: 12:09 07 January 2010 | UPDATED: 09:04 01 August 2010

INCREASING numbers of people under 65 are being treated for dementia in Suffolk, figures revealed today.

A review conducted by Suffolk Age Concern found 99 patients aged between 45 and 65 were helped by the charity's Younger People with Dementia Support Service in 2009 - a rise of 16 from a year earlier.

INCREASING numbers of people under 65 are being treated for dementia in Suffolk, figures revealed today.

A review conducted by Suffolk Age Concern found 99 patients aged between 45 and 65 were helped by the charity's Younger People with Dementia Support Service in 2009 - a rise of 16 from a year earlier.

However the charity believes there are even more people with the condition who have not sought help.

Health chiefs at NHS Suffolk predict there will be a rise in the number of cases over the next few years, from 199 people aged 30 to 64 who were diagnosed with dementia in 2008, to 232 in 2025.

Experts claim the rise is proportional to the predicted population increase as well as an increase in conditions associated to lifestyle choices, like smoking and excessive drinking.

Suffolk County Council's Adult and Community Services has a contract with Age Concern to provide the Younger People with Dementia Support Service, which is an assessment, care management and support service for those affected.

Daphne Savage, chief executive of Age Concern Suffolk, said: “The increase in the number of younger people with dementia we supported in the last year was for two main reasons - one, we reorganised the team to maximise the use of our small group of highly skilled staff so that more people could benefit from their help and, secondly, because the improved awareness of dementia among the general public means that some people are recognising the signs earlier and seeking help.

“Our small team works across Suffolk and the 99 people under 65 years they supported in the last year is about half the younger people with dementia we think there are in our county.

“Younger people with dementia have other issues to contend with that are different from elderly people with the disease. For example, financial worries as they may still have a mortgage but be at risk of not being able to do their job.”

For more information, call The Younger People with Dementia Support Service on 01449 674266, or visit www.ageconcern.org.uk

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