Living well with dementia – Part 2: Telling other people about your dementia

We look at the importance of telling people about your dementia diagnosis


We look at the importance of telling people about your dementia diagnosis

Being diagnosed with dementia can be overwhelming and it’s important to give yourself time to adjust to the news. In part 2 of a series of articles on making the most of life with dementia, we look at the importance of telling people about your diagnosis.

Telling other people about your diagnosis can be quite daunting, but it can also be a big relief. Here are some things to think about when you’re ready to share your diagnosis:

When you decide you're ready, it's always best to tell other people about your diagnosis. It's also good to tell them a little bit about how dementia is affecting you and especially, what you may be struggling with. It might be the obvious things like following a conversation or remembering what was said. This gives them something to focus on and allows them to make adjustments. Most people will be very supportive and will help you and be understanding.

You may find some people treat you differently than they did before. This may be because they don't understand what dementia is. Although it’s a very common condition, it’s still widely misunderstood. You may find that people want to help but don't know how to do so. They may be afraid of making the wrong move.

So, when talking about your diagnosis to someone you know, it’s good to try to explain what it means and the ways in which they can help and support you. People can feel helpless if they don’t understand. Sharing what you know should break down this barrier for them.

There are a number of positives to come out of sharing your diagnosis. The help and support you receive from others can really help you to cope with the changes in your life. For example, if you're no longer able to drive, you may well find people start to offer you lifts to your activities and events. People will, in general, also look out for your wellfare more.

Inevitably, you may find that you lose touch with some people. It could be that you no longer do the activities together that you used to do. However, although this can be difficult to accept, you may well find there are lots of opportunities to meet new people through activity and support groups.

More Info

Read NHS advice about dementia and relationships

Social & Support Links

Bluebird is involved with Calderdale Dementia Friendly Community (CDFC) an organisation that wants to support groups and organisations to help make Calderdale a dementia-friendly borough. Find out more about them on their website.

You can also find local memory cafés (also known as a dementia café), on the Alzheimer's Society website – meet other people with dementia and their carers in an informal drop-in setting to share advice, tips and support

Song: Try the Singing for the Brain groups run by the Alzheimer’s Society – singing is known to improve mood and wellbeing and is also great fun

The Alzheimer's Society offers support near you and Age UK offers social activities for what's available in your area.

Read more about living well with dementia in the Alzheimer's Society's The dementia guide: Living well after your diagnosis.

Home Care

If you need more support, following your dementia diagnosis, home care can help. Living in your own home is the preferred option of many people with dementia and has obvious benefits in helping you to maintain a familiar environment and day-to-day routine. At Bluebird, we offer a full range of home care, from occasional visits, through to live-in care and respite care. Find out more on our website.