Transitions in dementia - Diagnosis

Transitions in dementia - diagnosis

Welcome to the first of four articles in a series called Transitions. In these articles our Central Otago Community Educator, Donna, will walk you through some of the big transitions you may come across through your journey with Dementia and provide useful information and tips to help you navigate the transition.


The Dementia Diagnosis - what might a carer be experiencing?

The time before your loved one gets a diagnosis may be very difficult. You may wonder what’s going on, be thinking the worst, or others may be denying there is anything wrong. If you are the one raising the concerns, you may fear that your loved one will feel betrayed. You may be worried about how this will affect your relationship and your ability to care for them.

You may also be worried about what you need to do in order to put your affairs in order, or you may fear for the future.

The Dementia Diagnosis - What might the person with Dementia be experiencing?

Your concerns may be similar to those above, or it may feel scary to finally open up about your worries. Some people don’t want to admit to their concerns at all. In some cases, the changes in a person’s brain may mean that they are unaware of any problems with memory or thinking.

It is your health that is the topic of conversation, so it’s important that you take an active part in the diagnostic process. If you can, share your thoughts and wishes with your family and the medical team. It can also be helpful to get someone to support you to prepare for the process by making up a list of the questions you want to ask the doctor.

Try to remain positive as you move through the process of getting a diagnosis and know that the goal of your family and everyone in the health sector is to support you to live well with your diagnosis.

How can the team at Alzheimer’s Otago help with this transition?

We can help you to understand what to expect in the diagnostic process and can suggest ways to get through the process while preserving your relationship. We have a wealth of knowledge and lots of information resources that we can share with you - as and when you need it. You may experience a range of emotions through this transition, from fear, to grief and loss, and sometimes a sense of relief in finally knowing. We can help you to understand and express those feelings through one-on-one talk time, support groups, and connecting you to others in the same situation.  We can also link both the person with Dementia and the care partner into local programmes and services that can provide further support.

At this early stage, we can support you to live well with dementia, and we can wrap our support around your cheerleading team, whoever they are.

Find Out More About Dementia

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