Some carers describe how they found it hard to take in any other information after their doctor diagnosed dementia. Other carers describe not getting enough information at the diagnosis appointment.
Carers and people with dementia strongly suggest making a follow-up appointment with their doctor to find out more about their particular type of dementia and ask questions. If you can’t get a follow-up appointment with the doctor who gave the diagnosis, then make an appointment with your GP (or the person with dementia’s GP).
Ask the doctor to explain the results of the investigations they used to diagnose dementia (e.g. neuro-psychological tests, brain scans, blood tests). This may help you better understand why the changes you’ve noticed are happening.
Ask the doctor to highlight the symptoms they think are significant, but also ask about what is working well in the person’s thinking and daily functioning.
Your doctor, or their doctor, can also give advice on how you can support the person with dementia and care for yourself in the process.
Doctors cannot talk about their patients without their consent. They generally won’t take phone calls from family members and it’s usually best to visit the doctor together with the person with dementia.
Consider this list of Frequently Asked Questions to ask the doctor. This is a helpful starting point for the questions you’d like to ask – but you will have many other questions as well.