Talking about the diagnosis with the person just diagnosed can be a positive step forward. Open and honest sharing can help you express your feelings and support each other.
Talking about the diagnosis and planning together to adjust to the changes dementia will bring may give a sense of certainty about a way forward. You can discuss with whom, how and when you want to share the diagnosis.
It allows you to make important decisions about your futures together, such as what sort of treatment or care the person would like, the sort of support you need now, and what legal and financial decisions you need to make now for the future.
Avoiding the topic can result in feeling isolated and lonely, even in strong relationships. It can be a difficult conversation to start but talking about dementia can normalise it.
- Bettina and her husband found it helpful to talk about dementia like a third person in their house; “Mr Dementia” got blamed, not her husband Alec if things were misplaced or forgotten. Bettina said, “we could get angry and even laugh about dementia without Alec feeling it was his fault.”
Talking about the diagnosis
Find time to talk about dementia together.