Clarence and Bernie - In 2011, at the age 61, Clarence was diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia. He faces issues such as anger, memory, focus, problem solving skills and verbal filter systems. Clarence is no longer able to work, drive, demonstrate financial awareness, make appropriate decisions and maintain relationships. As Early Onset Dementia is not recognized by the Alberta Health Care system, this limits access to medical professionals, potential services, and education for physicians and caregivers. Due to a minimum age of 65 before the recognition of Dementia, those suffering with Early Onset Dementia and their partners experience extreme challenges. Even professionals such as psychologists, case managers and doctors are unaware of this diagnosis or the implications for patients and caregivers. The recognition of Early Onset Dementia, and education for physicians and caseworkers is of paramount importance. Assistance is needed setting up and maintaining private homes to ensure safety measures are met throughout the progression of dementia while allowing persons to remain at home as long as possible. There is an urgent need for Day Programs and designated Long Term Care placements to allow partners to continue working to sustain a standard of living in the present and future. Early Onset Dementia is extremely isolating for all involved and the stigma associated with mental health impacts day to day living.
Issues: Diagnosis, medical services and appropriate programs, appropriate care facilities.