Dementia in people aged less than 65 is described as early onset dementia, young onset dementia or working age dementia. It is estimated that 1 in 1,000 people in Wales have early onset dementia. This figure is slightly higher in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, and higher still in Ceredigion.
The symptoms of dementia may be similar regardless of a person's age, but younger people often have different needs, and therefore often require different support. There is a wide range of diseases that cause early onset dementia and a younger person is much more likely to have a rarer form of dementia than an older person. However, people under 65 do not generally have the co-existing long-term medical conditions of older people. For example, diseases of the heart and circulation. Younger people are usually physically fitter and dementia may be the only serious condition they are living with (Alzheimer’s Society, 2015). The following chart shows the numbers of people with early onset dementia in Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Wales.
Older adults in the West Wales region have increasingly complex needs. There are an estimated 6,884 people over the age of 65 with dementia in West Wales, 1,322 in Ceredigion, 2,358 in Pembrokeshire, and 3,204 in Carmarthenshire. Projections show that there will be 10,897 people over the age of 65 with dementia in West Wales by 2035, 1,993 in Ceredigion, 3,831 in Pembrokeshire, and 5,073 in Carmarthenshire.
There is evidence to suggest around 7% of dementia cases in Wales are early-onset dementia, backed up with other estimates of 5%-9% of early onset dementia diagnoses in the UK.