If you’ve been given a diagnosis of Dementia by a health professional, we understand that this can be an extremely traumatic time for you, your family and close friends. It’s natural to feel worried or confused, and not know what to do next.
We’ve put together some advice for coping with a Dementia diagnosis in the hope that this will go some way to help you deal with your emotions during this difficult time.
How to manage the impact of a Dementia diagnosis
There is no right or wrong way to react when receiving this news. You might go through phases of disbelief, anger and worry, all of which are completely normal. Take the time for yourself to deal with this and talk to those around you about how you’re feeling.
We’ve put together a list of things you can try if you’re dealing with Dementia to help you and your loved ones cope.
Try talking to other people
It might be that you find talking to close family or friends helps you to air how you feel and brings you a sense of relief in that you’re getting it out in the open. Alternatively, if you prefer to talk things through with someone else, that’s okay too. You could consider:
Online groups and forums are a useful way for a community of people to access helpful support, like Dementia Talking Point. This could be the first step if you’d like to reach out, be it day or night. It may help you to reach out in your own way, plus it doesn’t cost anything. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to post questions on the forum if you’d like help from people in a similar situation. You can also post comments and anecdotes to reach out and access moral support.
This is something you could consider when you feel more comfortable and ready to do so. Joining a support group can be a healthy way of getting advice from compassionate, experienced staff as well as an opportunity to talk to other people in a similar situation to you. You might find that it becomes a valuable mechanism to improve your confidence little by little.
Getting professional support from a Dementia advisor or qualified counsellor could be an option to consider if you find yourself struggling with the impact of Dementia. Remember that if you’re experiencing anxiety or depression it’s not a weakness to be thinking about getting real help. In fact, over 90% of people say a Dementia advisor improves their quality of life.
A Dementia advisor can offer professional help in a variety of ways. They can listen, and provide access to support services if you need them, and link you to local professional services for tailored help. This could include social groups or financial help. You can find local Dementia support groups online.
You might feel more comfortable paying your GP a visit to have that initial conversation about how you’re getting on. They’ll be able to listen, provide qualified advice and suggest any suitable next steps.
Alternatively, Dementia Connect is an easy way you can access a team of specialists from the Alzheimer’s Society, on a regular basis. Available through a phone call or email, they’ll be able to answer your questions about the condition, and can recommend local support should you need it.
Resources about Dementia
There are lots of publications for those living with or caring for someone dealing with Dementia, including books, videos and magazines. Dementia Together is a magazine for anyone who is dealing with the condition. You’ll be able to read examples of real-life stories, and join a community of united people who are coping together by sharing valuable, encouraging tips as well as updates about research and campaigns.
Get support for Dementia and find out more
For more information and practical advice to manage the impact of a Dementia diagnosis, you can read: