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HealthInfo Canterbury

Living well with dementia

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It can be very frightening to find out that you have dementia. Physical and mental changes can occur which affect all parts of a person and impact on family life. Each person is affected differently.

This page gives advice on what you can do and where you can get help and support to help you live as well as possible with dementia. There is lots of support available for people affected by dementia to help make life easier.

How to live well with dementia

Alzheimers groupThere are many things you can do to help yourself if you're affected by dementia.

You can also contact Dementia Canterbury by phoning (03) 379‑2590. They offer social work, support, and education services to all people in Canterbury who are affected by dementia. Dementia Canterbury also provides treatment and activities groups for people with dementia, and social activities for people with dementia and their carers.

Have regular check-ups with your GP

If you are diagnosed with dementia, it's a good idea to see your GP regularly. Ask your GP about a referral to Dementia Canterbury, or you can contact them yourself. Email admin@dementiacanterbury.org.nz, or phone (03) 379‑2590. You could consider going along to a free community education seminar about dementia, which is open to anyone. It's also a good idea to ask your GP if you're safe to drive.

Talk to your GP about whether medication is appropriate for you. Your GP may stop or change medicines that may cause or worsen confusion. The Medication Management Service is a free service that allows you and a pharmacist to talk about your medicines and discuss what medicines you're taking. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor and they will arrange the Medication Management Service for you.

Financial, legal and end of life considerations

Consider setting up an enduring power of attorney, so another person can look after and control your affairs when you're no longer able to.

Here are some additional resources that will help:

On the next page: Eating well with dementia

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed August 2019.

See also:

Preparing for your doctor's visit

Image of the Artzheimers Group provided by Dementia Canterbury, with the Christchurch Art Gallery

Page reference: 6388

Review key: HIMLD-33325