What next? Receiving a dementia diagnosis

Receiving a dementia diagnosis can be an uncertain time and filled with mixed emotions. But what should you do next? Below you will find advice from specialist dementia nurses, in 5 clear steps.

  1. Don’t panic! Take some time, breath. Nothing is going to change tomorrow. You are the same person you were yesterday.  You will be okay; there is lots out there to support you to live well with dementia.
  2. Share. You don’t need to take this on alone. Talk to your GP, talk to those closest to you. Later on, think about whether you want to keep your diagnosis private or be open.  Being open can be helpful.  It helps others understand you and understand that dementia is part of society
  3. Get referred. Different counties have slightly different services.  Your GP can help guide you to your local access
  4. When you’re ready, start thinking about future planning, for e.g. power of attorney, wellbeing planning, benefits, support at home.
  5. Take good care of yourself.  Discuss treatment options; although there is no cure there are treatments available to most that can stabilise symptoms. People with dementia can be prone to depression- consider talking therapies.  Exercise and enjoyable occupation are essential- walk, sing, meet friends, whatever is meaningful to you works best.

Written by the Dementia Nurse Team, at The Bristol Brain Centre, in Southmead Hospital

BRACE funds a 3 day a week Dementia Nurse to offer support, either immediately, or soon after patients receive their dementia diagnosis. The Dementia Nurse offers vital support and advice, the chance to ask questions and the opportunity to participate in important clinical dementia research.

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