How to Prepare After a Dementia Diagnosis


Receiving a medical diagnosis can be a scary and traumatic experience, especially when it comes to a progressive condition like dementia. While many people can live healthily for quite some time with this disease, dementia is degenerative and can eventually result in severe problems with memory loss and decision-making. However, there are ways to cope and prepare.

Speak to Your family

While it may be uncomfortable at first, make sure you speak to your family about your diagnosis. Dementia can evolve into a complex disorder which means you will need to rely on extended support from loved ones. Once you've been diagnosed, speak openly to your family and let them know how you wish to proceed with any ongoing care. You may not want to burden your family with your condition; however, it's best to put things in order and make sure they're aware of what's happening before your illness worsens.

Prepare Legal and Financial Decisions

As part of your discussions with family, it's also important to start putting the appropriate legal and financial matters in place. Even if you are in the early stages of dementia and are planning to stay healthy for many years, it's important that you start this process early.

This involves setting up wills, deciding what to do with your estate, and investigating your insurance options should you eventually need long-term care. If you haven't already done so, consult with your lawyer and/or set up a power of attorney so that you can rest assured that your needs are taken care of long into the future.

Research Long-Term Care

While most people don't want to think about losing their independence and autonomy, it's wise to consider your long-term care options. Even if they need for such a service is still some years away, it's best to set this up as early as possible. Then, as your symptoms progress, you may find that your need for long-term care comes sooner than expected.

If you're concerned about the quality of life in long-term care, it can be helpful to know that there are many high-quality homes. For example, this beautiful assisted living facility in Willards provides private bedrooms and in-suite kitchens, as well as varying levels of care that are personalized to each resident. They also provide specialized memory care for individuals with conditions like dementia or Alzheimer's.

Look into End-of-Life Care

End-of-life care is also addressed when setting up your will, but it's worth thinking about your options if you haven't done that yet. While some people with dementia live strong and happy lives for many years, the truth is that you may fall ill with other terminal illnesses, so it’s an idea to consider your end of life care options while you’re still compus mentus.

When considering end-of-life care, you'll want to look at hospices that can help ease your transition, as well as funeral homes and/or cremation services. However, if you don't put this plan in place yourself, it means someone else will have to make this decision for you. Therefore, it's best to think about easing the emotional toll this might have on your loved ones and/or any potential caregivers.