When a diagnosis for dementia is made, it is important to start thinking about the future. It is important that the next steps for the person with dementia are discussed with a doctor and close family members. Learn about some of the issues to consider in the future.
We both knew we were getting older, and we planned for our retirement. But this is the first time we've had to seriously consider our future. I mean, we want to be able to control as much as we can, to be the ones making decisions about how our lives will be. What do we need to know? What information do we need?
Professor Susan Kurrle
When the diagnosis of dementia is made, it's really important for the GP to sit down with the person with dementia and their closest family member, and talk about the future. There are a number of things that need to be talked about.
For instance, organising enduring power of attorney and enduring guardianship for future decision making. Thinking about what sort of care you might want later on in the progress of the disease.
Things like, when will you stop driving? When will you hand over management of the finances? Those sorts of things are very important to consider.
Driving is a very difficult issue for people with dementia. We know that dementia affects driving adversely, and people with dementia should stop driving reasonably soon after their diagnosis. The best way to know if someone should stop driving is to have an on-road driving test. And that is the gold standard. However, we should be talking about stopping driving very early on in the diagnosis. And talking about retiring from driving with an unblemished record is an important way to get particularly men to stop driving.
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Last reviewed: October 2020