Because dementia is a progressive disease, and the quality of care and quality of life for the patient depends in large part on the ability of the caregivers to arrange and participate in the care of the patient, it is important to provide information about the prognosis, and to begin planning for Dr Zheng’s  future care.  Information delivered at the time of diagnosis may not have been well retained, and may need reinforcement.

You should ensure that Dr Zheng and his family understand the diagnosis and the prognosis. To facilitate this, you might ask, “tell me about your understanding of your/your husband’s/your father’s medical problem…”.

An understanding of what to expect in the future will help the family, in conjunction with the multi-disciplinary team, in planning for future care and making decisions about who will provide that care and what help or assistance may be required.