Dementia and people of working age

You may be able to continue to work after a diagnosis of dementia. How well you can do your job will depend on how you have been affected, what your job involves and the potential risks.

If you have told your employer of your illness at an early stage you will be in a better position to negotiate changes in your responsibilities and work routines. You could consider moving to another job with the same employer or reducing the hours you work and the responsibilities you carry.  However, if you decide to do this you should consider what effect any change in your income would have on your current finances and your pension entitlements.

The Disability Employment Advisor (DEA), based in the Job Centre, can advise you and your employer about the options you have.  The DEA may be able to tailor a package of support to your needs through the Access to Work Scheme and negotiate with your employer to help you to remain at work and give you information about other opportunities to work. The DEA can also help with equipment in the workplace, perhaps offer some financial support to your employer and help you with fares to work if you have extra travel costs due to your disability. Local Job Centres are :

Facing dismissal or early retirement: If you have been doing the same job for some time you may be able to cope with routine tasks, but changes in routines or new tasks will be hard to manage.  You might be aware of the problems you are having, or employers or colleagues might notice the problems first. You should make your employer aware of your illness – before an incident occurs which might lead to disciplinary procedures or dismissal.

Your employer should not respond to news of your diagnosis with automatic dismissal or retirement and you will be in a better position to negotiate terms for leaving work if your employer is aware of your illness. 

You may have to retire before you had planned to which may affect your occupational pension, if you have one.  This will vary depending on the pension scheme, the contributions you have made and any options to enhance your pension rights if early retirement is due to ill health.

For further advice contact your union or professional association or see:


Last Updated: 8 January 2019