5 Dementia Questions to Ask Following a Diagnosis

Posted By on November 8, 2022

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with dementia, the initial reaction is one of shock: it can be difficult to know what to ask your doctor in the moment. In addition, you might not fully understand the progression that has already occurred and struggle to come up with any dementia question that can give you a clear viewpoint of where you and your family stand in this situation.

At HarborChase of Plainfield, our dementia care in Plainfield, Illinois, offers a welcoming community that provides exceptional, personalized care and support for those living with memory impairment or dementia. We want you and your family to fully understand the progressive effects of dementia, so we have put together the following dementia questions to ask your healthcare provider following a diagnosis.

How Did You Arrive at This Diagnosis?

For many, a dementia diagnosis is unexpected and sudden. For others, it can be an anticipated conclusion to a long journey of symptoms and concerns. Either way, it’s important to ask your doctor how this case was diagnosed to understand how far along the condition has progressed. Doctors complete a series of tests when diagnosing dementia, which determines levels of:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Changes in personality and behavior
  • How cognitive issues affect daily life
  • The cause of the symptoms

Doctors will also perform physical evaluations to ensure that these impairments aren’t caused by any sort of infection or overlooked health condition that can show similar symptoms to dementia. By communicating with your doctor, you’ll be able to understand how the symptoms have developed, how they’ve been affecting you or your loved one, and be able to move on to the next steps.

What Type of Dementia is Being Diagnosed?

Dementia is a term for the progression of memory loss, behavioral changes, and other impairments that can develop, but it is not a specific disease; it’s a collection of symptoms. Alzheimer’s disease is a well-known form of dementia, but there are other types of dementia that have different causes and different effects.

Knowing which type of dementia has been diagnosed will allow for a broader view of the situation in order to find the best treatment options.

How Quickly Will This Progress?

When you’ve received more information regarding the type of dementia that you or your relative has been diagnosed with, the next question should revolve around progression. Once you’re able to understand the way that dementia will proceed over time, you and your family will be able to make decisions regarding:

  • Financial Options
  • Care Options
  • Treatment
  • Legal Designation

What Support Options Are Available for My Family?

Whether the diagnosis has been given to you or a close relative, it’s crucial to ensure that your family has options for support, especially when coping with the progression of dementia.

There are plenty of support groups available for a person living with dementia as well as their family members. These groups are wonderful resources to meet individuals going through similar challenges and share resources and information while growing a support system.

Is It Still Safe to Live at Home?

If symptoms have already progressed to the point that it has become unsafe for you or a family member to age in place in a current home, or if you want to be proactive regarding safety and care, ask your doctor to analyze cognitive tests or perform an observation to help determine if living at home is a safe option.

If healthcare providers have recommended a memory care community as the best choice, a range of challenging emotions might arise for you and your family. However, rest assured that dementia care is meant to provide you or a loved one with personalized care, engaging cognitive treatment, and meaningful support.

At HarborChase of Plainfield, our dementia care community in Plainfield, Illinois, offers a safe, home-like environment. We help individuals live life to the fullest, regardless of their cognitive abilities. In addition, our associates understand that each resident has unique personal needs and are trained to provide the best care possible.  A daughter of one of our memory care residents shared:


“We brought my mom to HarborChase of Plainfield on July 21, 2022, in the memory [care] unit. We were caring for her at home; it was a big adjustment for all of us. HarborChase has been an answer to our prayers.

From the beginning, we felt so welcomed. The day my brother and I came for a tour, they had my name posted to welcome us. My mother was a late discharge from the hospital; she arrived at 6:30 p.m., but Alicia, Kim, Jessalyn, [and other associates] all welcomed my mother and all of us.

The care partners show teamwork. One day, I asked who was assigned to my mom, and the care partner replied, “all of us.” When my mom first came, she said, “I feel spoiled with all these people around me.” … HarborChase of Plainfield has become a second home to us. We feel safe and secure; when we leave my mom, we know she is being cared for.

I could go on and on. I tell everyone, “You all are angels from Heaven!” The staff certainly demonstrates the core values of HarborChase – Respect, Attentiveness, Integrity, Stewardship, and Excellence.”


Discover HarborChase’s unique approach to dementia care in Plainfield, Illinois, by visiting our website.