Younger Onset Dementia (YOD) Team

Dr Dragana Turic, Consultant Psychiatrist

Cariad Unit, Barry Hospital, Colcot Road, Barry, CF62 8YH

YOD Team Lead: Mark Jones

Medical Secretary: Karen Warlow

Telephone: 01446 454200

email: [email protected] 

The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Younger Onset Dementia Service is a specialist and dedicated service for people who receive a diagnosis of dementia under the age of 65, and for their carers and families.

The Alzheimer’s Society (Dementia UK, 2014) states that there are over 40,000 younger people aged between 30 and 65 living with dementia in the UK (2,221 in Wales). Younger people may have different needs to older people – they may:

  • Be in work at the time of diagnosis
  • Have a partner who still works
  • Have dependent children still living at home
  • Have ageing parents who they need to care for
  • Have financial commitments, such as a mortgage
  • Be more physically fit and active
  • Be more aware of their illness in the early stages
  • Find it harder to accept and cope with losing skills at such a young age.

The course of the illness may also be different in so much as it is likely to more rapidly progress in working age adults and be more complex and challenging in its presentation. Also rarer dementias are more commonly diagnosed. Hence the need for a specialist service.

The Young Onset Dementia Service

The Young Onset Dementia Service offered by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board provides support after diagnosis in the following ways:

  • Offering clients, carers and families a named point of contact for information, advice and support (Dementia Care Advisor).
  • Arranging frequent outpatient clinic based review with specialist clinical staff.
  • Facilitating access to psychological therapies, including post diagnosis support, cognitive stimulation therapy and carers support groups.
  • Facilitating access to social and physical activities, including walking group and supported gym sessions.
  • Arranging weekly sessional support with Family Support Workers to enable community engagement and continuation of interests. Also enables carer respite.
  • Enabling access to specialist therapy and psychology input as required, with Multi Disciplinary Team [MDT] membership from the professions of clinical psychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics and speech and language therapy.
  • Accessing psychiatric review, day hospital assessment and inpatient assessment as required and care coordination for clients needing access to secondary mental health care under the Mental Health Measure (Wales) 2010. Consultant psychiatrist and community mental health nursing are also represented on the membership of the MDT.

The YOD Service provides ongoing support for clients, carers and families for the duration of the illness or until the person reaches age 70, when they are passed on to older peoples’ mental health services if their condition is stable. 

Covid 19 

During the pandemic, the service has evolved weekly remote Cognitive Stimulation Therapy sessions and remote Tai Chi exercise sessions. As the service further evolves, remote forms of engagement to enhance client and carer therapeutic work, and facilitate assessments and reviews of need will continue to feature.

Last Updated: August 12, 2021
If any data is incorrect, please contact us to report it.
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