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Understanding the financial impact of a diagnosis of young onset dementia on individuals and families in the United Kingdom: Results of an online survey

Publication Date:

March 2021

Although literature on postdiagnostic support for people affected by young onset dementia acknowledges financial concerns, this topic has remained underresearched. The aim of this study was to explore the financial impact of a diagnosis of young onset dementia on individuals and families. An online survey, comprising binary yes/no, multiple-response and open-ended questions, was codesigned with people living with young onset dementia. The survey was promoted via networks and online platforms. Data were collected from August to October 2019. Survey respondents across the United Kingdom (n = 55) who had received a diagnosis of young onset dementia were aged between 45 and 64, were at different stages of dementia and had been diagnosed with thirteen different types of dementia. Of the 55 respondents, 71% (n = 39) had received assistance from family members when completing the survey. The main financial impact of a diagnosis of young onset dementia resulted from premature loss of income and reduced and often deferred pension entitlements. In some cases, care-costs became unaffordable. Lack of clarity of processes and procedures around needs assessments, carers' assessments and financial assessments by different organisations resulted in some families having to ask for legal advice and, in some cases, involved lengthy appeal processes. Future research needs to involve Adult Social Care and Third Sector organisations to help codesign and test financial management interventions to support people affected by this progressive health condition.

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