Published on February 17, 2014
Young Onset Dementia & Issues in the Workplace Pat Wilson, Family Support Coordinator Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin
Young onset dementia statistics • Estimated young-onset Alzheimer’s (under 65) o 200,000 people in the U.S. • Estimated young-onset dementia (under 65) o As many as 640,000 people in U.S.
Special issues with young onset dementia • Misdiagnosis • Children living at home • Aging parents • Eligibility for benefits and services • Work-related issues – Loss of finances – Loss of benefits
Special issues with young onset dementia (continued) • Loss of intimacy • Spouse/partner working or not working • Financial commitments • Usually physically fit and active • Emotions
Value of employee retention • Person in the early stages can still be independent with supports • American Disabilities Act
How to approach an employee about your concerns • • • • • Check with Human Resources Informal, friendly environment Simple agenda (“How are you feeling about work?”) Get direct supervisor’s input Problem solve what can be done & set goals
Talking to an employee about what can be done to help • Medical evaluation and treatment plan • Education and support • Legal and financial assistance • Social Security Disability Insurance (if leaving employment) • Adaptation options
Adaptation options in the workplace • Non-technological & natural supports o Co-worker as mentor and support o Change in environment or work responsibilities • Assistive technology (AT) o Any product or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities
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