To explore the lived experiences of family carers caring for a younger person with dementia
Dementia is a progressive disease affecting cognitive ability, understanding and causing the gradual loss of skills needed to carry out everyday activities. Young onset dementia is the term used when people are diagnosed with dementia before the age of 65 years. As this usually impacts individuals when they may still be in employment and have dependant children, the needs of this group are extensive. The impact of young onset dementia has a substantial effect on individuals with dementia and their family carer’s; this can include: mental health, physical health, well-being, and ability to participate within meaningful occupations. The first part of this project, the literature review; looks to review the up-to-date knowledge surrounding young onset dementia family carers. This review will discuss the challenges young onset dementia carers encounter as they try to cope with the caring demands which they face, and will then explore the available literature relating to support provided by occupational therapists and other healthcare professionals for this group. From reviewing the literature, there is a need to increase the awareness of the many issues experienced by family carers of younger people with dementia within health and social care; in order to ascertain the quality of service, and ensure the correct care and support is available. A generic qualitative design has been proposed to understand the occupational experiences of six family caregivers caring for a younger person with dementia. By using semi-structured interviews the researcher aims to understand the experiences of family caregivers caring for a younger person with dementia and how they view current services.