Dementia affects 47.5 million people globally, and it is estimated that 7.7 million new cases present themselves each year. If you have been diagnosed with Dementia, know that you are not alone. Many people receive the emotional news every day and are forced to face their disease. Receiving a dementia diagnoses is very difficult and life-altering. The good news is there are healthy ways to deal and live with a dementia diagnosis.
Work Through Your Emotions
It is normal to feel a gamut of emotions once receiving your diagnosis, and it is important to allow yourself work through each one on your own time. In many cases, people go through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then finally acceptance. Surround yourself around supportive people who love you, will help you work through your emotions, and most importantly, will be with you in your time of need. If necessary, seek therapy, counseling, or join a support group.
Knowing Is Half the Battle
As you work through your emotions and dementia diagnosis, it helps to create a list of questions to ask your doctor. Anything that may come to mind is perfectly acceptable to bring up to your physician. Remember, they are well-educated professionals who have your best interests and well-being in mind. Some great
questions to ask your doctor are:
- How did you determine my diagnosis?
- How far along is my disease?
- What should I expect in the future?
- What treatments are available?
- What resources can you provide on my disease?
- What support services do I have available to me?
If you have been feeling depressed, anxiety, or having thoughts of suicide, share these with your doctor. They will help to get you the treatment you need. It is important to remember that the negative feelings and thoughts you may be having following your diagnosis and coping with your disease can be effectively treated by a doctor.
Letting Others Know
Don’t be afraid to share your diagnosis; however, take as much time as you need to before telling others. Everyone handles their dementia diagnosis differently. Some share the news right away, while others take much longer before revealing it to others. The choice is yours to be made when you feel ready. It may help to tell the person you are most connected to first. This way, no matter how long it takes you to tell others, you will have one loved one who knows what is going on in your life and who will be there to support you.
Once you feel emotionally ready, you will want to consider assisted care living. Even if you already have in mind who you will be living with when the time comes, it always best to survey your options. Sometimes plans fall through, and you want to be prepared when they do. You will feel much better handling your affairs while you still can, then leaving them undone and in the hands of someone else at a later date. Dementia is a challenging disease to live with, and while your memory may come and go, your happiness can always stay.