Submitting evidence to a parliamentary inquiry, the Young Dementia Network (YDN) has called for all training for the care workforce to include direct contributions from those with a dementia diagnosis.
Specialist knowledge about young onset dementia and the ability to sustain empathic relationships were important qualifications for the workforce, YDN said in written evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Dementia.
The APPG has invited submissions for its Social Care Workforce Inquiry, which seeks to find out what people with dementia want and need from care workers.
YDN chair Tessa Gutteridge urged the APPG to acknowledge that the impact of young onset dementia on individuals is different and complex and can’t be rolled into a generic dementia solution.
“Inevitably it follows that those special people who offer social care must understand that difference too and have the opportunity to gain the confidence and skills needed to offer life enhancing care,” she added.
YDN’s submission also calls for earlier diagnoses, involvement of people with young onset in decisions about their care, and provision for age-appropriate care and support.
“Those in social care, including assessors, often fail to understand the complexities of living with dementia at an earlier stage in life and, because YOD is invisible, needs are underestimated,” it says.