Assisted Living Plan Article

Planning Ahead Before a Dementia Diagnosis

Did you know that those with dementia often try to follow the same routines and do the things they did before their dementia diagnosis? Why should you substantially change your routine just because you are diagnosed with dementia? Documenting your routines now before any possible dementia diagnosis or as early as possible once you are diagnosed, is the key to helping you maintain a high quality of life especially if you ever choose to move into a memory care community.

Taking a few minutes now to pre-plan can make all the difference ensuring you receive the best care possible should you ever need it. Grab a pen and paper and follow this simple Q&A exercise below. Then share your answers with your loved ones and put your answers in a safe spot.

  1. List the first three things you do when you wake-up in the morning.
  2. Write down what brings you joy.
  3. Describe something in your life that was very sad or traumatic for you.
  4. Write down something you do that people would be surprised to know about you.
  5. List your favorite songs; the music that brings you up when you are down.

Knowing these things about each individual is very important. Perhaps one of the first things you do in the morning when you wake-up is go to the bathroom. That is helpful for caregivers to know. If that is not on the list of things that you do first thing in the morning and someone is urging you to go to the bathroom right away, this might be upsetting to you and cause what dementia professionals label as a “negative behavior,” when really you just don’t have to go to the bathroom at that time.

Knowing what brings you joy, what is upsetting to you, what your favorite songs are, and what things you enjoy doing are very important. All of this knowledge helps caregivers create the best, most fulfilling life for you if you develop a cognition robbing disease.