Receiving a dementia diagnosis is devastating, both to the person diagnosed and to those around them. Any negative health diagnosis can leave a person wondering what to do next.
Surgery or chemotherapy is often the next step for a person diagnosed with cancer. Taking action toward a healthier lifestyle is common for people diagnosed with heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. But what are the actionable steps for someone with dementia?
The emotional component
It would be impossible not to be emotional following a dementia diagnosis. Going through the five stages of grief is part of the process for many people.
Denial is the first stage of grief. Denying the diagnosis is dangerous, but also common. Getting past denial is crucial, but how?
- Become educated about the disease. Knowledge really is power. The more you know, the better you’ll be prepared for the future. There’s still life following a diagnosis. Facing it is the best way to move forward.
- Acceptance is essential to receiving treatment that could slow the disease's progression. Spending a long time in denial eats away time, which is a benefit. Medication to slow progression should begin as quickly as possible following diagnosis.
- Create a plan of action. The Alzheimer’s Association can help you face the future. Use the Alzheimer’s Navigator. Essential information is available regarding legal and financial planning, how to navigate daily life, and more. Simply add your zip code for detailed information available in your area.