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Managing work with younger onset dementia

If a person with younger onset dementia is working, they will eventually need to make changes. They may need to change roles, or to stop working earlier than expected.

This can put extra strain on their family. The person with dementia may lose their income, and a partner may have to reduce their work hours to provide care at home.

It’s important to know there is help and support available, and to seek this help and support as soon as possible. Sources include:

  • the person’s doctor or doctors
  • trade union or professional bodies
  • legal and financial advisers
  • a counsellor
  • Carers Australia through the organisation's helpline on 1800 242 636
  • Alzheimer’s Australia through its National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Like anyone with a serious illness, people diagnosed with dementia are entitled to special considerations in the workplace. People with dementia can often stay at work, while changes to aspects of their job may make things easier, including having one or two trusted people to support them in the workplace.

It is important to be familiar with anti-discrimination legislation and know the relevant employment conditions, especially sick leave and disability entitlements.

The person with dementia might also need to talk to their employer about their condition. It’s important to plan for this discussion, and perhaps take a trusted person with them.

If they are planning on leaving work, it’s important to think about this carefully and not to rush it. They should get advice to ensure they get their proper entitlements. For example, they might talk to a financial adviser, solicitor or trade union official.

It’s also important for the person’s carer to check their own work entitlements for carer’s leave and sick leave.

Visit the Alzheimer’s Australia website for information about employment and younger onset dementia or call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Last reviewed: November 2016

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