A diagnosis is the first step in moving forward with dementia
You did not want this diagnosis of dementia.
You may have negative feelings about having dementia.
But your diagnosis is the first step in moving forward with dementia. Now you have a name for the disease, and an explanation for your symptoms, you can learn more about dementia. Knowing more about dementia means you know what to expect and what you can do.
Many people with dementia live full and meaningful lives after their diagnosis. People living with dementia have shared their good and bad experiences and this forms the basis of this website. These stories, challenges and strategies from people with dementia combined with up-to-date research, will help you choose your own path forward with dementia.
People with dementia found the following actions helped them in their first year after diagnosis. You don’t have to take all these actions and there is no correct order.
- Understanding the diagnosis: helps you to make sense of what you are going through.
- Coming to terms with dementia: feelings about having a diagnosis of dementia sometimes get in the way of adjusting to dementia.
- Managing changes: there are strategies and treatments which can help with the symptoms that are interfering with your life.
- Supporting wellbeing: life doesn’t stop because you have dementia. An active and social lifestyle may improve brain health.
- Making plans and decisions: plan for now and the future and know what supports and services can help.
Understand your type of dementia so you can adjust
Dementia is the umbrella term for a group of diseases which affect the brain. To get a diagnosis of dementia, your doctor will have found that you’ve got declines in your memory or thinking or which make it harder to go about your daily life. Common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Fronto-temporal dementia, Lewy Body Dementia and mixed dementia.
Each type of dementia has different patterns of changes in the brain, different symptoms and different drug treatments. There are also non-drug strategies and treatments that tend to work for all the different dementia types. Sometimes doctors can’t differentiate between types of dementia, and can’t tell the person what type of dementia they have. Read more information on specific types of dementia.