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Understand your diagnosis

Information and support is available to help you understand and adjust to your diagnosis.

Senior woman smiling with flowers in foreground

If you have had an assessment with a GP or specialist doctor, the diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment may be given. If you find out more information, and learn more to better understand your diagnosis, you will find it easier to adjust to the diagnosis and move forward.


If you have been diagnosed with dementia visit Forward with dementia. This website is your guide for the first year after diagnosis. It will help you choose your own path forward with dementia. You’ll find up-to-date information from clinicians and researchers, practical suggestions and stories from people living with dementia and carers, and tools to help you come to terms, and live positively, with dementia.

You may be told the type of dementia you have, or you may need further assessment to find out the type. Specialists are more likely to diagnose the type of dementia than GPs.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

After testing and assessment, some people might be found to have some cognitive difficulties, but not enough to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of dementia. Doctors might tell the person that they have mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

MCI is generally defined as memory or thinking decline without significantly affecting the ability to do everyday activities. MCI can be due to a variety of causes. Some people with MCI revert back to normal, and others go on to get dementia.

There is good scientific evidence that positive changes can reduce the risk of people with MCI progressing to dementia. So, it is important to take action to reduce your risk of dementia.

People with MCI should visit their specialist or GP regularly for ongoing monitoring. For more information, see Benefits of an assessment.

Dementia Australia’s Thinking Ahead Program

This small-group program is designed for people diagnosed with MCI. It comprises five educational sessions (2.5 hours each) including strategies and practical tips to manage changes as well as improve brain health and minimise your risk of developing dementia. The program is free and is available face-to-face or online (depending on your location). For more information visit Dementia Australia’s Thinking Ahead Program.

What’s next?

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