Coping with a Dementia Diagnosis: 101

Dementia Diagnosis

Whether you have recently had an appointment with your medical doctor who has confirmed that you are living with the early signs of dementia, or else it is a family member, partner, or close friend who has been given such a diagnosis, then your mind will be swimming with questions and conflicting emotions.

In an effort to assist you with the process, this article contains three hopefully helpful ways to begin to understand and cope with a dementia diagnosis.

  • Start to Consider the Future 

The unfortunate fact that you will already have discussed with your medical doctor is that dementia is invariably a progressive kind of illness, and therefore, starting to consider the future, whenever you are ready, can only be a positive.

It may well be that you are not currently in the headspace where you can even completely process this, let alone start to think about the future, but one important thing for you is to retain as much control over your life as possible. Consider the move to a private care home, such as the esteemed, in the future or else, in your own time, maybe start to research the possibility of moving to a safer and more relaxed environment further down the line.

  • Consider Occupational Therapy 

Occupational therapy is broadly accepted to be the best way of dealing with the initial diagnosis and your emotions and feelings towards it, and whether you visit a therapist in their professional office or else find one who will come to your home, either method is equally as effective.

Essentially, an occupational therapist working with people who have been diagnosed with dementia strives to encourage them to talk about their feelings and teach them different styles of coping behaviors. Additionally, occupational therapists also show the individual and their family how to make their home safer for them by such methods as removing clutter on the floor and installing a simple monitoring system.

  • Introduce Home & Lifestyle Changes 

When approaching your diagnosis, you should try to go with a practical plan in mind – the sooner you start to make small changes to your lifestyle, the better.

Exercising, whether you always have enjoyed getting your heartbeat up or you have never enjoyed it, is a fantastic and effective way to improve your cardiovascular health, your core strength, and your balance. Additionally, exercise is also a useful method of combating the feeling of being restless; this being one of the main side effects of dementia.

Other suggestions regarding home and lifestyle changes that you may feel are appropriate for you, and may even help you to regain control over how you feel and your future include:

  • Revisiting older activities, pastimes, and hobbies that you used to enjoy
  • Keeping a calendar in the hallway of your home and another by the phone
  • Establishing more of a set nighttime ritual and ensuring you get enough sleep
  • Not trying to push yourself too much at once and instead going at your own speed

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