What to do if you're diagnosed with a dementia

Dementia is a name of a condition, it is not a person. Each person, as they live with a dementia, will experience things that are individual to them. If you have been diagnosed, there is information and support to help you to live well with the condition.

A dementia diagnosis can help uncertainty 

A diagnosis of a dementia can be difficult news. An explanation of what the problem is, and what can be done about it, may help reduce some of the worry caused by uncertainty.

If you've been diagnosed with a dementia, it might help to talk it through with family and friends.

You can get help and support available from:

  • health services
  • social services
  • voluntary organisations

Why it is important to plan ahead 

Dementia is a progressive condition that is individual to each person. A timely diagnosis can help you plan ahead.

Key things to consider include:

  • staying well
  • services and support - find out what's available locally
  • legal and financial issues

Looking after your property and money

You may want help to manage your property and financial affairs.

You can formally appoint a friend, relative or professional to act on your behalf, by giving them a Power of Attorney.

To read more about enduring power of attorney, go to:

Looking after your health and wellbeing 

Looking after your health and wellbeing is important for everyone, including people with a dementia. If you are living with a dementia, key things include:

  • looking after your health
  • maintaining a social life
  • ways to combat sleep problems in dementia
  • keeping active and occupied
  • self care in dementia

To read more about living well with a dementia, go to:

Financial matters 

There are different benefits and financial support available if you have a dementia or support someone with a dementia. To find out about help and support, speak to your key worker.

Driving and dementia 

Some people with dementia prefer to give up driving because they find it stressful, but others continue driving. To continue driving, you must inform the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) that you have a dementia.

The DVA will ask for medical reports and possibly a special driving assessment to decide whether you can continue driving.

To read more, go to:

Where to find help and support

You can find more information and support services from the following organisations, see also ‘more useful links section’:

More useful links

The information on this page was adapted from original content on NHS Choices.

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