Call 888-734-8645 today for Home Instead Senior Care dementia care services in your area.

My daughter-in-law started this disease when she was 47 yrs. We have had all kinds of tests done. She also had a hysterectomy around that time. She takes thyroid medicine. There is no help for her because she is not a senior. She is 53 now. My son needs help but cannot afford it. What can he do? He is so tired, he does everything for her, but she does not let him sleep he is exhausted and he has to work. Please help me find some help for him.

Answered by David Troxel

October 30, 2013

My daughter-in-law started this disease when she was 47 yrs. We have had all kinds of tests done. She also had a hysterectomy around that time. She takes thyroid medicine. There is no help for her because she is not a senior. She is 53 now. My son needs help but cannot afford it. What can he do? He is so tired, he does everything for her, but she does not let him sleep he is exhausted and he has to work. Please help me find some help for him.

I’m so sorry that your family has faced this tough situation. Your daughter-in-law’s younger onset Alzheimer’s disease presents many challenges. You are right to note that many of our services are aimed at older persons.

Here are a few thoughts.

Be sure to take advantage of any available benefits. In the US your daughter in law would be eligible for Social Security disability income and this can open the door to other services.

I would contact your local Alzheimer’s society or association to see what services they may be able to provide you and your family, now and in the future. For example, Medicaid does cover skilled nursing care for lower-income persons. The Association may also have support groups and educational programs that can help the whole family.

Your son will ultimately have to make his own decisions regarding her care and his role as a care partner. It’s important for you to encourage him to not wait and wait to use services (e.g., adult day center care or in-home care). Meanwhile you and other family members can hopefully help by giving him a break from time-to-time.

Finally you may want to check to see if there is a university-affiliated memory disorder clinic near you. They may be very interested in evaluating and following her since she is so young. Having a good medical team behind you help you all travel the journey and potentially allow your son to opt for some research studies that could help his wife or others in the future.

Thanks for writing in.

Thoughts and stories from others

  1. December 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm
    Posted by Robin

    I agree. My Dad is 80 with dementia and can still drive (he's lived in this small town for 25 yrs and gets around extremely well and the state of NM continues to renew his license so...) and he loves to.dance. Even at 80 he goes out 5-6 nights a week, often until midnight. My sister thinks he needs to be in Asst Living but I can't imagine him playing bingo around a bunch of people sobering in their wheelchair. I read a GREAT article the other day called 'A Village Where Everyone Has Dementia" (Google that title). It's what is needed here in the US.
  2. November 21, 2013 at 04:46 pm
    Posted by Melanie

    The long term memory care units have to make changes!!! My brother lives in one of the best in our state. The problem is the activities. Bingo, hymns, trivia from WWII. Come on people. He has no interest in those. I have tried suggesting activities , contacted the Alzhiemer's Assoc. and support groups. All I get is I am sorry. We don't have any resources for his age group. Sad sad. It 's it tough enough to live where everyone is at least 20 years older than you then to have no activities that interest anyone younger than 80.

Share your thoughts, stories and comments

Your email address will not be published.

Ask an Expert a Question

Fill out the form below to get your own question answered by one of our experts. They’ll respond to your questions here.

If you have a comment rather than a question, you can submit your comment in the form below.

Read how we protect your information.

*All form fields are required.

Do you want to ask a specific expert?

By submitting this question, you agree to the Terms of Use and disclaimer for this site.

Rocket Fuel