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Lorenzo’s House: We empower youth and their families affected by younger-onset dementia and build community, cure isolation and drive dementia justice

Contributed by: Diana Cose

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

After my husband was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s, the culture in our home changed as we took on a complicated new identity. I call it a diagnosis of the family. As my husband bravely faced this condition, our 11 and 14 year old sons found themselves managing

complex brain change in their father, and change in their mother, because I was changing too. I

became primary care partner, sole breadwinner and just like that, single mom.

I recognized the support gap for a family like mine; younger, with younger kids, with dementia. Families living with younger-onset are unseen, misunderstood and under-resourced. There are many of us, but the resources designed for us are sparse. I was determined to make meaning of things and turn so much sorrow into something bright – so, I imagined a place that would fill this massive gap for younger families – a place that would sustain and heal us on our way through. I visualized a place where we could find each other - a virtual, innovative, brave space where families could belong and find light. I imagined Lorenzo’s House.

I took a leap of faith and leveraged my past career in education in Chicago as a founder and president of a network of public charter schools for 25 years. Lorenzo’s House was founded out of my son’s bedroom in 2021. Our tagline is, ‘We Bring Light’ with a vision to shift the narrative for younger families - from isolation and suffering, to connection and light. Together we build community, cure isolation, and drive a new dementia justice. With a deep focus on the sons and daughters of younger-onset - we will unite in advocacy and dismantle the stigma that has kept us in the shadows.

There is a 200% up-tick in the United States of individuals diagnosed with younger-onset (YOD)

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia (BXBS Report 2020). With nearly 4M (Global Burden

The Cose Family in Chicago--Lorenzo, Diana, Justin (15), Lucas (11) of Disease Study 2019) individuals diagnosed with YOD worldwide, multiplied by a family of four, there are over 16M people in need of connection, resources, and light with a projected 48M by 2050.

Today, just three years operating, we are filling a gap and solving this societal problem.

Lorenzo’s House is the global hub of support for the young people and their families

affected by younger-onset dementia - having served over 2000 family members across 45

states and 10 countries. We are a non-profit social impact organization offering free VIRTUAL

programming to families, with a focus on young people ages 4 to 35+ of a parent who has lived

with, or is living with any form of younger-onset dementia.


For the sons and daughters of a parent living with or has lived with younger-onset dementia of any form


Music, Movement; Community is a free Chicago-based in-person and virtual

experience for the entire family affected by younger-onset dementia with campuses on

the North and South Sides with classes twice monthly. Register for Music, Movement &

Community here.

While we welcome ALL young people and their families affected by younger-onset to our programs, currently all services are in English with limited time zone program offering.



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Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter

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Lisle, IL 60532

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