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Mum-Of-Two Diagnosed With Dementia - At The Age Of 29

14/08/2014 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mum-of-two diagnosed with dementia - at the age of 29

A mother has spoken of her heartache after her daughter was diagnosed with dementia – at the age of 29.

Julie Talbot first noticed her daughter Zoe Bottrill was becoming increasingly forgetful when she was 27 years old.

Two years later, the mum-of-two had been diagnosed with dementia and was unable to look after her young daughters.

Now aged 42, Zoe is in the final stages of the disease and spends her days lying in the foetal position in a specially adapted chair.

She is unable to move her limbs, can only consume liquids, is unaware of what is going on around her and has not spoken for four years. She is also profoundly deaf.

Her mother, Julie, 63, told MailOnline: "When she was diagnosed I felt utter devastation. I still do.

"It is very difficult to understand – when someone gets ill and you know it is terminal it does not usually go on so long. You have the right to grieve.

"I grieve for the person she was but we still have a person who isn't my Zoe. Her life is just one long nightmare."

Zoe, who now lives in a care home in Ashford, Kent, has two children - Gemma, 20, and Louise, 16.

She started to develop symptoms of dementia when Louise was a baby.

Her mum Julie said: "You associate dementia with older people. It wasn't something that crossed my mind. She had just had her second child so I thought she was just struggling to get into a routine.

"I thought she might have had postnatal depression – you try to come up with answers as you just don't know.

"I have felt all the emotions sadness, anger, frustration but most of all I feel sad, it's a living nightmare, I visit what looks like my daughter but it's not her, not the person she was."

Zoe was admitted to a care home while her young daughters went to live with their great grandmother, Ruby, who was already in her 70s. She now lives in an early-onset dementia unit in Ashford.

Zoe's daughter, Louise, who now lives with her older sister, Gemma, said: "As I was only around two years old at the time it's just something I have simply grown up with, for as long as I can remember my mum has had dementia, I don't really know anything different.

"It is still difficult at times but as I have no recollection of living with my mum I just get on with life."

She added: "She is in the late stages now, she sleeps a lot of the time and cannot really move the lower half of her body. She doesn't know who I am but I still go and see her."

Director of Research and Development at the Alzheimer's Society Dr Doug Brown said: "It is estimated around 17,000 people in the UK are living with dementia under the age of 65, but to be diagnosed at such a young age is incredibly rare.

"If you are worried about any problems with memory or thinking, at any age, you should always go to your GP."

Last month, Louise and a friend took part in a 10km Memory Walk in Dorking to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society.

She is hoping to raise money - to help pay for research - and awareness about the condition.

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