Published: 4 November 2021
People who have debts often ignore phone calls or when the post arrives, quickly stuff the letter in a drawer. People who have an alcohol problem often hide the bottles so no-one can see how much they are drinking. People who are having relationship problems often post the cutest loved up pictures on Social-Media to hide the truth from their friends and family.
Not only do people do this to hide the truth from their friends and family but they do this to hide the truth from themselves. The same goes for our health. How many people do you know, think about yourself as well, have ignored symptoms because ‘it will go away’, or ‘I don’t want to bother anyone’ or ‘I don’t have time to go to the Docs’.
The truth when it comes to our health, we are scared of not knowing but are just as scared of knowing. When you know, you must face it. When you know, you must make decisions. When you know, you can’t pretend any more.
Where there are symptoms which could be associated with dementia, in whichever shape or form, it is essential to seek medical advice as soon as possible. There are many illnesses that can produce similar symptoms so before self-diagnosing go and get medically assessed.
Why would you want to know if you have dementia?
Stress – we may not want to get assessed because of the stress and worry it will involve however not knowing but suspecting can cause just as much stress and worry. If dementia is ruled out, the real underlying condition can be treated. If dementia is diagnosed it can be a relief, the stress of trying to pretend all is well can stop and can allow you to focus on the next steps.
Early diagnosis normally means you and your family will have more time to process and understand what is happening.
Accepting the diagnosis will enable you to make decisions and to discuss these decisions with your family. There are many things to be considered and an early diagnosis will mean that you can actively take part in those discussions, make decisions and make your wishes known. Think of the financial planning, future care needs, medical and treatment plans, Carers, Nursing homes etc.
Having an early diagnosis could offer you the chance to take part in dementia trials. Research is an essential part of understanding dementia as ongoing research allows us to adapt the therapies, medications and the supports offered.
Probably the most important reason for having an early diagnosis is the chance to make the most of every moment. Most of us, whatever age we are, have an ongoing list of things we want to do, achieve or experience – our Bucket List. When you understand that at some point you will not be mentally or physically able to do certain things then an early diagnosis may allow you to tick off some, if not all, of your bucket list. Being diagnosed with dementia does not mean life stops but it does mean life changes. Making memories with your family and friends will bring both you and them great joy.