This month FastTrack Fit Camp are supporting a local charity supporting young people with dementia. Our Family Charity Fit Camp is on Sunday 26 February at 09.00 at Bearwood Recreation Ground, Winners RG41 5DU. All welcome and all proceeds to this fabulous charity!
Young Onset Dementia affects adults between the ages of 30-64. In Berkshire alone it is estimated that there are 522 people with young onset dementia (based on Dementia UK 2014 report). Traditional services are designed to meet the needs and expected therapeutic outcomes of older adults and subsequently, access to activities appropriate for younger adults with dementia is limited.
People with young onset dementia often experience a more rapid decline in cognition and quality of life at a time when they may otherwise have expected to be in employment and to have an active social life. The same applies to partners and other family members who consequently face social isolation and carer stress (van Vilet, 2010). In many cases, carers have to give up work to support their partner and therefore, the ability to provide respite on a daily basis is often pivotal to keeping carers in work. For the person living with dementia, lack of appropriate activities can result in an increase in social isolation, apathy, a decline in health and increased risk of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
Having dementia at a younger age is associated with a greater number of unmet needs and unmet needs are associated with an increase in neuro-psychiatric symptoms. This, together with increased carer stress, is a major risk factor for institutionalisation (Bakker, 2013).
The YPWD (Berkshire) charity was set up in 2012 to support people living with young onset dementia. We provide workshops and 1:1 support to those with a diagnosis of young onset dementia and thereby provide respite for their carers. Examples of the workshops are katakanuing, running, Pilates, walking, singing, art and photography. After running these for a number of years we have seen the benefits of our intervention through the delay to institutionalised care, the reduction in anti-psychotic prescribing and the improved well-being of attendees and carers.
For further information about our charity, please visit our website www.ypwd.info
Caroline Blanchette Chartered MCIPD
Business Support Manager