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After receiving a dementia diagnosis

There’s a lot to think about if you find out you have dementia. Our advice explains what happens immediately after you're told, and how to access support.

You are not alone

If you've been given a dementia diagnosis, it can be a struggle to take in the news. It is natural to give yourself time to process your feelings.

Making connections and talking to others who understand what you're going through can help, you could try:

  • finding a support group
  • joining an online community
  • talking to a dementia support worker or dementia advisor
  • seeing a counsellor or psychotherapist

After being diagnosed with dementia

If you do receive a diagnosis of dementia, you may struggle to take in everything that is said.

It can be a lot to deal with all at once and you may be feeling upset or anxious. You may also be given information to take away that can be quite difficult to understand. Remember that you don’t have to read this immediately.

You have plenty of time after the meeting to read any leaflets or booklets that you’ve been given or that you find online to help you understand more about what it means to have dementia.

You will have had to go through a lot of tests and waiting to get your diagnosis, so you may feel relieved that you now have an explanation for your symptoms. However you feel, it’s natural and it is okay to give yourself time to process your feelings.

Talking to others

You're not alone. There are lots of ways to connect with people who understand what you’re going through. You could try:

  • finding a support group – where you can talk to others with a similar experience
  • joining an online community (for example, Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Support Forum)
  • talking with a dementia support worker or dementia adviser
  • seeing a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist.

Adjusting to your dementia diagnosis

There’s a lot for you to process with a new diagnosis. Once you feel ready, our information can help you adjust to living with your condition.

You can get advice on what to do when newly diagnosed with dementia and tips on how to stay independent for as long as possible.

The dementia guide is a booklet for anyone who has recently been told they have dementia. It will help you understand more about dementia and the treatments and support that are available. It includes information about how you can live as well as possible with dementia and about making plans for the future.

My Life, My Goals is a self-help guide for people in the early stages of dementia. It can help you feel more confident and in control by walking you through how to set meaningful goals that matter to you.

How we support you

Get advice and information, whether you are worried about your memory, waiting for a referral or already diagnosed.

  • Call our support line to speak to a trained adviser
  • Visit our online forum to hear from people in the same situation

You may also be interested in

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Staying independent

Advice on how to stay independent for longer if you have dementia.

Discussing future wishes with dementia advisors and family members

Planning ahead

Plans you can put in place now that will be helpful in the future.

A couple affected by dementia on a cold but sunny day.

Claiming benefits

Types of benefits you may be entitled to, and how to apply.

Last reviewed: December 2023

Next review: December 2025