Consulting a doctor

If you are diagnosed with dementia, concerned you may have dementia, or caring for someone with dementia, you may be worried about how this will affect you and your job. We will help you access information to explore your options and make informed decisions.


Consulting a doctor

Often people experiencing the warning signs of dementia are wary about consulting a doctor. Some believe they can work harder to overcome or even hide the challenges they are experiencing. Others are worried about what a diagnosis will mean for their job, relationships, and quality of life. Consulting a doctor is an opportunity to understand the physical changes in your body, how they can affect your emotions, mental health, and experiences, and what medical and employment help may be available. 

A dementia diagnosis does not automatically mean it is necessary to leave your job, your workplace, or the greater workforce. In fact, modern medicine is allowing doctors to diagnose dementia earlier. This can give people living with dementia more time and opportunity to make decisions that give them the greatest quality of life for as long as possible.

Reasons to consult a doctor

If you or someone who cares about you notices you forgetting how to complete routine tasks, making atypical mistakes, or having lapses in judgment, then chances are others, such a supervisor or colleagues, are noticing too.

Without a medical diagnosis, workplace struggles often become workplace performance issues. This isn’t fair to you or your employer - especially if you are putting forth your best effort. 

Consulting a doctor can:

  • Give you the information you need to determine whether you are safe and able to continue the activities required for your job. 
  • Provide an official diagnosis, which offers a legal foundation for how you are treated at work and facilitates access to any available employer-offered and/or community-based programs, services, and support.
  • Give you and your employer information about specific workplace accommodations (e.g., supports, modified duties) related to your job duties that can help you keep working.
  • Allow you to plan when and how you wish to exit your job, workplace, or the workforce.

Making employment decisions


Choosing when to consult a doctor

The best time to consult your doctor is as soon as you recognize that you may be experiencing warning signs of dementia. Read more >

What to expect when you consult a doctor

Making an appointment to talk to a doctor is an important step toward a diagnosis. In order to make the most of your time with a doctor, it can be helpful to know what is likely to be expected and prepare accordingly. Read more >

For more information:

The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories offers a detailed Getting a Diagnosis toolkit to support you through your doctor’s visit and the steps required to receive a dementia diagnosis. The toolkit includes worksheets you can complete before you consult your doctor as well as information about the types of tests that your doctor may require you to complete.