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February 27, 2023

How to Navigate a New Dementia Diagnosis

A dementia diagnosis can be a complicated and overwhelming experience, but there is hope. Countless resources are available to help you and your loved one cope with dementia and still live a fulfilling life. From support groups to helpful websites, you have access to many tools that can provide you with knowledge and comfort as you navigate through this journey. With the right kind of help and understanding, living with dementia can be made easier.

You may feel scared or numb when a doctor tells you that you or your loved one has dementia, but you can find out more about the diagnosis and where to get help.

This article explains what you can do after a dementia diagnosis, how to talk to your loved ones about dementia, and how to cope with the changes ahead.

What To Do First When You Receive a Dementia Diagnosis

Receiving a dementia diagnosis is challenging. You may feel overwhelmed or even anxious when you hear about the diagnosis for the first time.

This is a natural reaction, and it’s important to give yourself time to adjust to the diagnosis.

Here are some tips on what to do when your loved one first receives a dementia diagnosis.

Try To Stay Calm

When your healthcare practitioner diagnoses you or a loved one with dementia, it is essential to stay calm.

There is no doubt that dementia is a life-changing disease, so it can take some time for everyone to process this diagnosis.

It’s a good idea to remember that modern medicine provides many support and treatment methods to slow down dementia.

Learn More About Dementia

The more you understand your dementia, the more you can adjust to the changes ahead.

There are a number of different dementia resources available, including information from the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Community centers and local hospitals also provide educational programs about different types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s.

Your doctor will be able to give you more details about your specific type of dementia and the progress of the disease.

As you learn more about dementia, you will also discover individual coping strategies to deal with your diagnosis.

How To Talk to Your Loved Ones About Your Dementia Diagnosis

Many people who are diagnosed with dementia feel a sense of shame or guilt. They worry that they may be a burden to their family and friends.

It’s a good idea to tell your closest family members about the diagnosis first. They can then support you if you wish to share the news with other relatives.

You can choose to talk about your diagnosis individually or as a group. This being said, it can be a big help to have someone else present as emotional support.

Remember that everyone may react differently, so it’s advisable to plan this event ahead of time.

  • Make sure that the room is quiet
  • Speak slowly and try to stay calm
  • Allow everyone in the room to absorb the information
  • Keep written information about dementia handy for anyone interested

If your loved one has received a dementia diagnosis, the best thing you can do is to respond with love and support. Ask them what you can do to be there for them, and help them plan for the future, even if the prospect initially seems frightening.

How To Find Support and Resources About Dementia

The best place to start looking for resources about dementia and Alzheimer’s is the internet.

Large dementia support websites, such as, have lots of information about the disease, including diagnosis, treatment, clinical trials and care support.

The Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Foundation of America also provide a helpline for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. They have locations all across the United States, so you can contact their local chapter in your area.

For specific day-to-day care or long-term care, you can reach out to our friendly staff members at Manalapan for information about our services.

Tips For Living with Dementia

Here are some practical tips to help you cope with dementia throughout your day.

Take Your Time

As your dementia progresses, tasks that you have been used to doing every day can take longer. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time.

Create A Daily Routine

With a daily routine, such as medical appointments, bathing, or brushing your teeth, it’s easier to stay alert. You will also be able to remember what to do next easier.

Create Simple Instructions for Yourself

One of the best ways to cope with dementia is by reminding yourself or asking someone else to remind you of important tasks regularly.

For example, you could write down a task list for each day and then tick off each task after you complete it.

Be Flexible

As dementia progresses, a person often becomes more dependent on others. This can create frustration, so it’s important that you also allow some flexibility for unexpected events.

Ways To Cope with the Changes of a Dementia Diagnosis

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you may need to navigate several changes, such as a decline in memory or health.

Get Support for Day-To-Day Tasks

With continued memory loss, it becomes difficult to remember even the smallest tasks. However, you can use sticky notes or a notepad to write reminders.

Keep your medication in an organized pill box and jot down any medical appointments.

You can also ask friends, family, or local services to help with essential tasks like shopping or cooking.

Stay Healthy

With a dementia diagnosis, you must keep on top of your health. Make sure to go for regular check-up appointments with your doctor and a neurologist.

Try to stay active for as long as possible. You can go walking, hiking, or any activity you like, but ensure you look after your body with care. It’s also a good idea to take a walking buddy with you to make sure you stay on track.

Create A Safe Environment

As your dementia evolves, you or your family may also need to take certain safety precautions, such as keeping lighters and matches out of reach.

You should also have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home to ensure your safety.

It’s a good idea to install locks on cabinets containing dangerous substances, such as toxic cleaners, guns or medicine.

Final Thoughts

A dementia diagnosis is undoubtedly a difficult challenge, but it does not mean that hope and support are unavailable. With the right resources and people around you, living with dementia can be manageable. There are many ways to get guidance and understanding, including counselling services, support groups, educational materials, and even online forums. By taking advantage of these resources, you can learn how to cope with the condition to live your life to its fullest potential. So don’t let this diagnosis define you — seek the help you need and ensure your voice is heard.

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