What is dementia Living with dementia Planning ahead If you have been given a diagnosis of dementia there is a lot to think about. Once you and your family have had a chance to take in the diagnosis, it is a good idea to take stock and start to think about the future, what it may bring and what is important to you. It is a good idea to: Find out as much as you can about your type of dementia and its likely progress. See if there is a clinical trial which you may be able to take part in. Gather information about services that can help to maintain independence and maintain a good quality of life – it is a good idea to know what is available locally before you need to use it. Alzheimer’s Support can help with practical services like day clubs, home and community support and activity and social groups, but can also offer training courses for family members, carers’ support groups and counselling. See our Services pages for details. Find out about any financial benefits you and close family might be entitled to. Put your financial and legal affairs in order. Talk to a solicitor about setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney so that trusted relatives or others can help manage your affairs, including health and welfare aspects. Make a Will if you have not already made one. Complete a 'This is Me' document to help other professionals know about your preferences in the future. Make a more detailed Life Story, as a picture board, photo album or online, and ask family members to contribute. If you drive, you will need to inform the DVLA and insurance company of your diagnosis, but it does not necessarily mean you have to give up driving straight away. Our Dementia Advisers can help with all of the above. They can also refer you to Swan Advocacy Service who can help you create a ‘Living Well Plan’. This is a record of your plans, hopes and preferences, collected to help those who may need to make decisions on your behalf in the future.