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Just diagnosed with dementia

A diagnosis of dementia will have a big impact on a person, their carer and their family. It can be upsetting, but a diagnosis can also come as a relief because it means you can plan ahead.

There are practical things you can do to support the person with dementia. For example, you can:

  • prepare your home to provide a safe and comfortable home environment for the person living with dementia, and their family and carers
  • find out how dementia changes a person’s behaviour, and how to cope with these changes
  • find out about care options, including residential care
  • find out about looking after yourself as a carer or family member of a person with dementia, including managing stress and finding support.

A good place to start finding information about dementia is Alzheimer’s Australia. They can provide you with information about any type of dementia and about the services that support the person with dementia, and their families and carers, throughout the course of the illness. They also produce help sheets especially for family and friends, which provide information about dementia and ways to help.

Visit the Alzheimer’s Australia website or call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Last reviewed: November 2016

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Alzheimer's Australia | Diagnosing dementia

Information about the early signs of dementia, the importance of early and correct diagnosis and the ways in which it is diagnosed. What are the early signs of dementia? The early signs of dementia are very subtle and vague and may not be immediately obvious. Early symptoms also vary a great deal. Usually though, people first seem to notice that there is a problem with memory, particularly in remembering recent events. Other common symptoms include:

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Alzheimer's Australia | Information about diagnosing dementia

Developing better and more accurate methods of diagnosis is an important research focus. Currently there is no single test that can accurately diagnose dementia. General diagnosis information Information about different types of brain scan Laboratory & memory testing Genes & genetic testing

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Alzheimer's Australia | Tests used in diagnosing dementia

Assessment The first step towards a diagnosis is to talk to your doctor about your concerns. It is a good idea to take a close family member or friend along to help provide the doctor with all the information they need. It is also a good idea to take along a list of the memory and thinking changes that have been concerning you, including when you first noticed them and how often you notice them. You should also take a list of the medications you are taking or take your medications with you.

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Alzheimer's Australia | Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Help Sheets A series of help sheets about various dementia topics have been developed to inform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about dementia. What is dementia? Diagnosing dementia

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Alzheimer's Australia | Am I at risk?

Informationabout the early signs and symptoms of dementia, the role of heredity in dementia, managing the risk factors and adviceon reducing the risk of developing dementia. Diagnosing dementia Information about the early signs of dementia, the importance of early and correct diagnosis and the ways in which it is diagnosed.

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Alzheimer's Australia | Employment and younger onset dementia

When someone has been diagnosed with dementia it is an upsetting time for the individual and for those close to them. If the person has been diagnosed with a younger onset dementia they may still be in full employment at the time of the diagnosis. They may still be responsible for a family, have a mortgage and other financial responsibilities.

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Dementia and dental care - myDr.com.au

Everyone with dementia needs an individualised preventive approach to dental care that should begin as soon as dementia is diagnosed.

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Alzheimer's Australia | Early planning and younger onset dementia

People with younger onset dementia and their families often face significant changes to their financial situation. The person with dementia may still be in full employment when diagnosed or when the symptoms of dementia make working too much to manage. The person with younger onset dementia may be responsible for a family, have a mortgage and other financial responsibilities.

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Alzheimer's Australia | Employment and dementia

Making employment decisions Being diagnosed with dementia means that there are a number of matters to consider in planning for the future. If you are still working, you will need to consider how dementia affects your working life and start thinking about changes that may be needed in the future. You may have already noticed the effects of dementia on your work. Some of the changes might include:

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Alzheimer's Australia | What is younger onset dementia?

What is younger onset dementia? Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a persons mental functioning. It is a broad term which describes symptoms such as loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and normal emotional reactions. The term younger onset dementia is usually used to describe any form of dementia diagnosed in people under the age of 65.

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