Aging & Mental Health, 2023

Living with young-onset dementia in the family – a mixed method study

Background: Studies on disease-related obstructions experienced in everyday life of younger people with dementia (YOD ≤ 65 years) and their families are encouraged.Aim: To explore how the family carers experience six predefined topics that influence the everyday life and needs of persons with YOD.

Method: A quantitative and a qualitative study including family carers of persons with young-onset Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Seventy-four informants responded to the Camberwell Assessment of Needs in the Elderly (CANE) and individual interviews were conducted with 13 informants.

Results: Family carers of persons with YOD reported few unmet needs in the CANE assessment. Needs related to behavior and close relationships were reported significantly more frequent (p < 0.1) in persons with FTD than in persons with AD. From the qualitative data, six main themes were emphasized: daily activities turned upside down, involuntary loss of previous social network, losing close relationship, but maintaining a friendship with the spouse, unpredictable behavior adds burdens to a changing life, health and life risks, and economic insecurity for future life and caring costs.

Conclusion: Whilst family carers quantitatively reported unmet needs, the individual interviews reported several major difficulties in everyday life.


A-S Helvik, L Hvidsten, K Engedal, H Kersten, M C N Dourado & A Johannessen

Tilgang til artikkelen