When the Diagnosis is Alzheimer's

Once testing is complete, the doctor will make an appointment to review results and share his or her conclusions. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s reflects a doctor’s best judgment about the cause of a person’s symptoms, based on the testing performed.

You may want to ask the doctor:

  • Why the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s.
  • Where the person may be in the course of the disease.
  • What to expect in the future.

Find out if the doctor will manage care going forward and, if not, who will be the primary doctor. The doctor can then schedule the next appointment or provide a referral.

Alzheimer’s disease is life-changing for both the diagnosed individual and those close to him or her. While there is currently no cure, treatments are available that may help relieve some symptoms. Research has shown that taking full advantage of available treatment, care and support options can improve quality of life.

  • How to provide increasing levels of care as the disease progresses.
  • How the individual and family members will cope with changes in the person’s ability to drive, cook and perform other daily activities.
  • How to ensure a safe environment.

It is also important to begin making legal and financial plans. A timely diagnosis often allows the person with dementia to participate in this planning. The person can also decide who will make medical and financial decisions on his or her behalf in later stages of the disease.



Alzheimer’s Navigator® helps guide individuals facing dementia when planning for the future. This interactive tool evaluates needs, outlines action steps and links the user to local services and Association programs. Visit alz.org/alzheimersnavigator  to start planning.