Advice if you’ve just had a dementia diagnosis

A dementia diagnosis can come as a shock. But, over time some people come to view it in a positive way. This is because a diagnosis is the first step towards getting the information, help and support needed to manage the symptoms.

A dementia diagnosis can also help you and your family make plans and prepare for the future.

It’s natural to worry about the future, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are many places to get advice and support.

Support after a dementia diagnosis

In Scotland, everyone who is newly diagnosed with dementia is entitled to post diagnostic support. This will help you understand dementia, plan for the future and support you to stay well for as long as possible. Your GP or healthcare professional should refer you for this.

Staying well with dementia

As with other long-term conditions, it’s important to look after yourself when you have dementia. Try to:

  • stop smoking, if you smoke
  • eat healthily
  • stay active
  • keep taking part in any hobbies you have
  • maintain social connections with family and friends

If you’re depressed or feeling very down, talk to your GP. Depression is very common in early dementia and there are a range of treatments that can help.

Support organisations for dementia

There are many dementia charities that can offer advice and support.

Alzheimer Scotland has information about dementia and the support available in Scotland. You can contact them on their helpline by phoning 0808 808 3000.

Age Scotland have an About Dementia forum. They work alongside people with lived experience of dementia to shape the policy and practice. They also have a helpline for people with dementia and their families and carers. You can contact them on 0800 12 44 222.

Alzheimer’s Research UK carries out dementia research. It also answers questions about dementia and dementia research. You can contact their Supporter Care Team on 0300 111 5 111 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Support groups for dementia

Support groups are a great way to share your experiences of caring for someone with dementia. You can also hear what others are going through. If there’s a particular issue you’re struggling with, it’s likely someone else has also experienced it.

Meeting Centres offer community based support for people living with dementia and their care partners.

The Dementia Friendly Communities Network shares support for and with people living with dementia and their care partners in their own community.

Age Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland both have networks of member community groups across Scotland.

Last updated:
27 May 2024

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