To determine the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of a large cohort of patients with young onset dementia (YOD) (aged below 65), and whether they differ from older (age 65+) adults with dementia.
Retrospective cross-sectional study. Participants were New Zealanders who were assessed with International Residential Assessment Instrument (interRAI) assessments (including community-dwelling adults and those in long-term care) from 2016 to 2019 and had a diagnosis of dementia. Outcomes were sociodemographic and clinical characteristics captured in the interRAI assessment.
People with YOD were more likely to be male, of non-European ethnicity, and live in a dwelling other than a private home or be homeless. They were more likely to exhibit problematic behaviors and neuropsychiatric symptoms but were less frail and less dependent for activities of daily living. Financial strain and loneliness were more common in people with YOD. Carers of people with YOD were more likely to feel distress, anger, or depression, and families of people with YOD were more likely to feel overwhelmed.
YOD patients have different needs than older adults with dementia. These differences must be considered by clinicians and organizations that provide care and support to people living with dementia.