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DEMENTIA

Just been diagnosed?

After the appointment, there will be a million questions running through your mind. This page is here to give you a place to start. We’ve collected together links to the different things you might want to know about, so you might find it useful to keep coming back to this page as you tackle different issues after diagnosis.

Talk to someone now

Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm, every weekday. Whatever your situation, we’ll take the time to listen to your concerns. We’ll do our best to help you through, answer your questions, and find you the right support. Call us now:

0300 222 5709

DEMENTIA

Has someone you know just been diagnosed?

After the appointment, there will be a million questions running through your mind. This page is here to give you a place to start. We’ve collected together links to the different things you might want to know about, so you might find it useful to keep coming back to this page as you tackle different issues after diagnosis.

Need to talk to someone now?

Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm, every weekday. Whatever your situation, we’ll take the time to listen to your concerns. We’ll do our best to help you through, answer your questions, and find you the right support. Call us now:

0300 222 5709

 

Dealing with the diagnosis

It’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions after someone you know has been diagnosed with dementia. You might experience:

  • Anger – life hasn’t gone the way you expected it to go
  • Grief or a sense of loss – you feel cheated out of your future with the person you care for
  • Denial – you find it hard to believe their diagnosis
  • Loneliness – you feel like you’re losing the person closest to you and you don’t know who you’ll be able to talk to
  • Relief – the diagnosis confirms your suspicions and now there is a plan for treatment

All of these feelings are normal. There’s no right or wrong way to feel.  

Your feelings might change from one day to the next. You may have some good days, then some bad days, with no overall pattern to your mood. There is always a period of adjustment after diagnosis, so it’s important not to deny your feelings or to feel guilty about how you’re reacting.


Immediate worries

Can it be cured?

There’s unfortunately no cure for dementia at the moment, but depending on the type of dementia the person you care for has, there could be treatments that slow down their condition. Take a look at our treatment pages for Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia for more information.

As well as getting treatment to improve their symptoms, there are some things you and the person you care for can do to keep them as mentally and physically active as possible. Take a look at our guidance on maintaining independence, maintaining good health, tips on suitable activities, and using memory aids.

Am I going to get dementia?

If you’re related to the person you care for you might be worried that a “dementia gene” has been passed on to you. The good news is that for the vast majority of people, dementia isn’t inherited, and it depends on what kind of dementia the person you care for has been diagnosed with. See more information in our FAQs for Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.

Can they still drive? Can they travel?

Having dementia doesn’t necessarily mean someone has to stop driving or travelling, but you may be wondering whether they need to tell the DVLA about their condition. Take a look at our information on driving with dementia and travelling with dementia for more information. Our driving page also includes advice on how to start a conversation with the person if you think they should give up driving.

What will things look like in a year’s time?

It’s normal to worry about whether their symptoms will be worse in a year’s time and how you will manage. We’ve got guidance on the progression of dementia and what to expect. If their symptoms do get worse, you might need someone to help you with their care, whether it’s getting help from family members or getting the local council to send someone to help around the house.

Looking to the future, you might be worried about how you’ll pay for their care. We’ve also got guidance on how much it should cost, as well as a whole section on financial support so that you’re in the best possible situation to afford care.


Looking ahead

Let us help to make things simpler

From now on, we can be here by your side. Our role is to answer any questions you might have along your journey, and help you access the right support.

Our dementia information covers the different kinds of dementia and how treatment works, what to expect on your journey, tips on good care, and how to manage a range of difficult behaviours and situations.

For all carers, we’ve got advice on what support you can get as a carer, how to get support for the person you care for, what financial support you can get, how to plan for the future, tips on managing someone’s affairs, and guidance on the emotional impact of being a carer, including what to do if you can’t cope.

You can browse the website for this information or pick up the phone and talk to someone in the team.

By having everything in one place, you won’t need to wonder where to look for the answer to your question. Life is going to be complex, both for you and the person you care for, but accessing support shouldn’t have to be.

If this is the kind of support you think would help, join us. Sign up for an account here and you’ll be able to:

  • Call us as much as often as you need to, whenever you’ve got a question
  • Access the information on this site as much as you need to
  • Let us know where you or the person you care for lives and get information on local support services
  • Ask our team for advice on equipment that would help the person you care for manage better at home

Remember – you are not alone

Many people feel like they don’t know where to turn after someone they know has been diagnosed with dementia. The important thing to know is that you are not alone. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. There’s a whole range of support out there, to help the person you care for manage their condition and live a good life with dementia, and to help you, as their carer. You can do this.

Prefer to read offline?

You might find our Hints & Tips about dementia a useful companion through your journey. It’s an accessible booklet packed full with tips on caring for someone with dementia, including dressing, washing, communication, and managing difficult behaviour

Click here to get your copy now.