Knowing the signs of young-onset dementia

Written by Active Minds on Thursday the 22nd of December 2016.



People with dementia whose symptoms began before the age of 65 are usually described as having young-onset dementia. There are many signs of early-onset dementia and the symptoms of dementia may be similar regardless of a person’s age, however younger people often have different needs and require some different support.

Symptoms of early-onset dementia can include:

  • Confusion or disorientation. People may become confused in unfamiliar situations and lose a sense of place and time.
  • Changes in personality and behaviour. These may be subtle at first and could include depression or loss of confidence.
  • Language problems – difficulty finding the right words and communicating. This may sometimes be called aphasia.
  • Memory problems which interfere with everyday life. This may include forgetting messages or recent events which would normally be remembered, or repeating questions.
  • Visual problems – people can have difficulty recognising words and objects and judging speed or distance.

Recognising these symptoms is vital in getting the right diagnosis. The impact of young-onset dementia can be significant – people are often working and may have young families. For details of organisations that can offer support and advice, visit or you can also ask your doctor.