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Next steps after diagnosing dementia: interventions to help patients and families
  1. Antony Bayer
  1. Division of Population Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Antony Bayer, Routledge Academic Centre, University Hospital Llandough, Penarth CF64 2XX, UK; bayer{at}cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

The way that a diagnosis of dementia is delivered to patients, what information is provided and what practical advice and support is arranged has a lasting impact and deserves at least as much attention as the process of assessment and investigation. Individuals and their families require an honest yet sensitive discussion about the nature and cause of their problems, using non-technical language and tailored to their priorities and needs. This should lead on to the provision of good-quality information in an accessible format. Priorities for intervention include medication review, attention to sensory deficits, appropriate pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatment, best use of memory aids and strategies and discussion of driving eligibility, financial entitlement and legal advice. Referral onwards should be made to an appropriate individual or service to provide ongoing emotional and practical support and signposting.

  • dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • disclosing diagnosis
  • information provision
  • carer support

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Footnotes

  • Contributors Antony Bayer was the sole contributor, responsible for conception, writing the original manuscript and subsequent revision.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Jeremy Isaacs, London, UK.

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