A new resource has been developed specifically for people caring for those living with Younger Onset Dementia by the Lovell Foundation, Edith Cowan University (ECU) and Bethanie and Mercy Health.

Younger Onset Dementia is defined as a dementia diagnosis before the age of 65 and affects approximately 25,100 Australians.

The Lovell Foundation was set up by Garry Lovell and his wife Mandy to raise awareness of YOD and encourage better care options for people living with the disease.

Garry, who has the rare inherited form of dementia, tested positive when he was just 37 years old, after he had watched the disease claim the life of his mother.

The Lovell Foundation established the Trevor Mast Research Scholarship with the aim of creating a free training tool for carers looking after people living with YOD both at home and in residential aged care facilities.

ECU School of Nursing and Midwifery Senior Lecturer Dr Caroline Vafeas and her colleagues developed the YOD toolkit as an electronic talking book.

“It is a valuable resource to help health care workers tailor the care they provide to young people living with dementia, Dr Vafeas said.

“By providing links to resources and practical tips for caring, we hope this resource can help employed carers develop strategies to assist with meaningful care.

The e-flipbook incorporates pre- and post-knowledge tests, which will allow anyone who completes the book to be credited with professional development.

Bethanie Dementia Consultant Michelle Harris has witnessed first-hand how Younger Onset Dementia not only impacts the person with the disease, but also their family, friends and service providers.

“This toolkit aims to improve education and awareness around the disease which will ultimately benefit everyone involved in the care of someone living with YOD,” Ms Harris said.

The YOD toolkit is now available for aged care providers to download for free here.