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5.2 Make a life plan for this year

Creating a life plan is a series of steps

A life plan for this year isn’t about planning for the long-term future. It’s about planning for now, this year.

  • You might like to use the My life plan worksheet to identify and note some things that are meaningful to you, your goals, barriers and strategies for your life plan.
  • You might also find the goal setting and planning workbook produced by people with dementia in collaboration with Alzheimer’s UK useful.


Set your goals

Goals are the things that you want to do this year. These can be big things or little things, try to make them realistic. Start with 2-5 goals. If you can’t figure out a goal, write down things that are important to you in life. Here is an example of some goals:

  • Go to Queensland to visit our daughter.
  • Organise our photos and make memory albums.
  • Work out Alec’s medications.
  • Keep driving.
  • See my friends regularly.
  • Re-do our wills.

Make a plan for this year

Identify barriers to meeting your goals

Barriers are things which might get in the way of achieving your goals. These might be symptoms of dementia, finances, logistics, family, social changes that have happened because of dementia, or other social reasons. As you put your life plan into action, you might encounter more or fewer barriers than you expect. For example:

  • We might not be able to afford flights to Queensland.
  • I’m worried about Alec getting lost when we are travelling or not coping with the travel.
  • Alec always wants to be the driver when we go out, but the doctor says he can’t drive. We end up having an argument each time we go out. I have been thinking about selling the car.
  • It’s hard for me to leave Alec at home by himself.
  • Alec can get quite worked up about legal and financial things. He used to be so competent, I think it hurts him to know he doesn’t manage so well now.

Identify Barriers

Use strategies to overcome barriers

Once you have identified the barriers, you have a clear list of things you can work on addressing. You can figure out next steps by:

  • Reading through this website, choosing suggestions that make sense for you and add them to your life plan.
  • Talking through your life plan with family or trusted friends.
  • Speak with people at your carer support group (if you have not joined one consider trying some support groups out. Carers have a wealth of experience to share!).
  • Phone the Dementia Australia helpline (1800 100 500).

Discussing your life plan with your doctor, or another dementia specialist health or social care professional. You might ask for a dementia care plan, or a chronic disease management plan (see 2.12 Be assertive with doctors and other professionals) that will help you achieve some of your goals. If you are getting community care support, you can ask for your plan to be modified to better support your life plan.


Overcoming Barriers