Diagnosis of dementia in younger people is increasing

By Lenore Rice

Dementia is often considered to be a condition that only affects the elderly, but there are an increasing number of people in their 40s and 50s being diagnosed, many of whom are parents to young children, who are trying to hold down a career, or have other responsibilities that are made extremely difficult as a result of their condition.


It has been estimated that one person develops dementia every 3 minutes in the UK, and the ages of those affected vary considerably.


Some symptoms to look out for if you are concerned about a loved one:

  • struggle to remember recent events, despite a clear recollection of events in the past
  • difficulty following conversations or plot-lines in programmes or movies
  • forgetting the names of family or friends  or everyday objects
  • losing train of thought in mid-conversation
  • struggling to think about something or to reason and problem-solve
  • anxiety, depression or anger
  • confusion or disorientation  in a familiar environment
  • extent of  memory loss becomes noticeable to other people


The condition can affect the sufferer's ability to carry out certain tasks and responsibilities, and it may reach a severity that makes it prudent to take certain legal actions to protect the person. You may wish to consider an Enduring Power of Attorney.


An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to make proper arrangements for the management of your financial affairs should this eventuality happen to you by authorising someone to sign documents on your behalf if you become incapable. If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney made, a more complicated and expensive High Court management process applies in the event that you become incapable of managing your own affairs.


If you would like to speak to a solicitor in Northern Ireland specialising in Enduring Powers of Attorney, and other incapacity related matters, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 9293.