After diagnosis of dementia
Reactions to a diagnosis of dementia can vary from relief to a mixture of fear, anger or denial. Helping people come to terms with their diagnosis, to make decisions and plan ahead is critical in supporting them to live well with dementia. This section looks at support following diagnosis including helping a person remain independent, how getting to know the person can help with planning support and communicating with people with dementia.
What to do after a dementia diagnosis?
Support after a diagnosis
Care workers can play a vital role in helping a person with dementia to maintain their independence and confidence. Planning for the future after a diagnosis of dementia enables people to play a key role in making important decisions on their care needs and financial and legal affairs. As a person comes to terms with a diagnosis of dementia and adapts to their new life, they may become vulnerable to abuse. Support is out there to help people get to grips with their circumstances, fears, beliefs and hopes.
Getting to know the person
Each person with dementia is different: when it comes to offering support, different things are helpful for different people. Knowing the person, their history and interests, and understanding how dementia is affecting their life are crucial if the support offered is to be genuinely helpful.
Dementia can make it more difficult to communicate with others and can make people feel isolated. Understanding dementia and behaviour can improve communication and using positive memories can help engage a person with dementia in conversation. How we communicate with a person with advanced dementia can vary, depending on what we know about the individual – particularly things they have enjoyed during their life.