Some people felt that after their diagnosis of dementia, it wasn’t clear what they should or could do next. Writing a life plan for this year helps you figure out what’s next. It helps you prioritise what is important to you, and what steps and strategies you need to get there. Having a life plan helps:
- You to stay in control and have purpose.
- The people who support you (family and friends, professionals) understand what you want, and means they can help you live your plan.
Your life plan is flexible. As things change in your life, your plan might need to change.
- If you already used the My life plan worksheet you may already have identified 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.
Your life plan is not a care plan. A care plan is something that health professionals and services write so that they can treat or support you. A care plan includes the actions that health professionals and services should be doing to support you. You write your life plan, and to-dos on your life plan are things that you and your family are doing.
Start with your goals
Goals are the things that you want to do this year. These can be big things or little things, however try to make them realistic.
Example goals or things that are important:
- Go to Queensland to visit my sister.
- Finish re-building the back shed.
- Keep fit enough to walk up and down the stairs or to play with my grandchildren.
- Keep driving.
- See my family and friends regularly.
Start with 2-5 goals. If you can’t figure out a goal, write down things that are important to you in life.
Barriers are things which might get in the way of meeting 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 barriers.
Figure out next steps or strategies to meet your goals by:
- Reading through this website, choosing suggestions that make sense to you, and add them to your life plan.
- Reviewing any to-do items which are presented in a box at the bottom of most pages on this website.
- Talking through your life plan with family or friends.
- Discussing your life plan with your doctor, dementia nurse, allied health professional or case manager. You might ask for a dementia care plan, or a chronic disease management plan from your GP to complement your life plan. You might ask for your home care plan to be modified to better support your life plan.