Daring to tell: The importance of telling others about a diagnosis of dementia

D. Weaks, Heather Wilkinson, John McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Learning to live with a diagnosis of dementia is a complex process. Being able to talk about the diagnosis to others represents a major challenge for some people with dementia. This study explores the experiences of people with dementia, and members of their families, around the task of informing others during the six months immediately following their diagnosis of dementia. Five people with dementia living in the community, and their immediate family members, were recruited into an ethnographic study. Data were collected through recorded interviews and participant observation, and were analysed through a grounded theory method within a continuing iterative process. Findings suggest that participants recognised the need to tell others about their diagnosis but these conversations were difficult to initiate and manage, and hindered the processing of emotions. Findings are discussed in relation to implications for practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalAgeing & Society
Issue number4
Early online date25 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • community
  • counselling
  • dementia
  • diagnosis
  • early stage
  • emotion
  • ethnography
  • grounded theory
  • identity
  • narrative
  • qualitative research
  • relationships
  • self


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