If you’ve just been diagnosed with dementia, it’s normal to feel a range of emotions: shock, sadness, anger, confusion, uncertainty.

Give yourself grace and take the time you need to adjust to this diagnosis. You may find that acknowledging whatever feelings you’re having can be empowering. So, lean on those close to you for support while you work through whatever emotions you’re feeling.

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line can offer free counseling and support.

Once you’ve had some time to process your diagnosis, create an action plan to help you manage your symptoms and plan for the future, so that your caregivers can offer you the best care.

Educate Yourself

Learn as much as you can about the type of dementia that you or your loved one was diagnosed with. Once you understand the disease, you can better understand what to expect and even learn ways that may help slow the progression of dementia.

Lean on the Alzheimer’s Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other information found on our CorsoCare blog to help you learn more.

Seek Early Intervention

Obtaining an early, accurate diagnosis is critical, especially if symptoms appear suddenly. Once a diagnosis is made, the primary goal is to manage the symptoms. When any questions come up about you or your loved one’s symptoms and care, seek medical advice for your care team.

Make A Plan For The Future

Planning for the future can include financial and legal planning, making decisions about living arrangements and care, or writing a will. Consider setting up automatic payments for any recurring bills, so you have one less thing to think about. It also may be a good idea to tell a trusted family member or friend any passwords or where your legal documents can be located.

Though these steps may be difficult, the more prepared you are for your symptoms to progress, the easier it will be on both you and your family.

Connect With Others In Your Shoes

You may be surprised how many people around you are facing a similar diagnosis. Connecting with people who are in your shoes can help you to feel less alone. Your doctor may have a list of local organizations and support groups in your area that can help. Online communities are also a great place to turn if you want to talk.

Get Help With Daily Tasks

Sticky notes to jot down important information, pill boxes to organize medications and timers as reminders are simple memory aids that can help you to manage your symptoms. For help with routine tasks like cooking, paying bills, grocery shopping and more, ask a family member or friend to help.

Don’t Give Up On What You Enjoy

Have you always loved painting? Does spending time in the garden bring you joy? Activities like these don’t have to be abandoned just because you’ve been diagnosed. Though some hobbies may need to be modified, remember that your diagnosis doesn’t define you.

Take Care Of Your Health

Schedule regular visits with your doctor to take care of both your physical and emotional health. Maintaining a healthy diet, light regular exercise and getting enough rest may even help you to manage your symptoms.

Seek Support From A Professional

Professionals like therapists and counselors are trained to help patients through diagnoses like these. If you’re feeling depressed as a result of your diagnosis, consider asking for help.