Reduce your risk of dementia with our 5 top tips

Published: 22/05/2019

Dementia is most often caused when diseases damage the brain, this includes Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Whilst there are a lot of diseases that can cause dementia, Alzheimer’s is known to be the most common cause.

Dementia is most often caused when diseases damage the brain, this includes Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Whilst there are a lot of diseases that can cause dementia, Alzheimer’s is known to be the most common cause. There are some things you can’t change which may increase your risk of dementia, this includes: age, gender, ethnicity and genetics. But do not despair, here are some things that you can do to help decrease that risk:

Diet
A healthy diet containing plenty of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and oily fish will ensure that your body is receiving plenty of anti-oxidants and omega 3, which help also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes. It’s equally as important to make sure you are eating low levels or red meat, salt and limiting sugary treats which may raise your blood pressure.

Physical activity
It’s important that you are active enough to raise your heart rate for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Whether it’s a brisk walk, cycle or a swim – even if it’s not to lose weight, regular physical exercise is good for the heart and improves mental wellbeing.

Bad habits
Regular smoking and drinking habits can increase the risk of dementia greatly. If you already smoke, it’s advised that you try to stop with the help of your GP, who can provide advice about quitting and refer you to a NHS Stop Smoking Service. In regard to drinking, it’s important that you keep your intake within recommended limits which is a maximum of 14 units a week, spread over 3 or more days. 14 units equates to either four/five large glasses of wine or seven pints of beer with a lower alcohol content. You can always talk to your GP to find what help is available if you are struggling to cut down.

Keep your health in check
It’s important to check up on how your body is functioning, so it’s recommended that you go for an occasional checkup with your GP, or sooner if you realise any problems that interfere with your day to day life. A check up with your GP is like an ‘MOT’, where your blood pressure, weight and possibly cholesterol levels will be checked to see if you are at risk of any diseases. If you are currently living with a long-term condition, then it is even more important to attend more regular checkups to confirm you are receiving the best care and medicine if required.
Your brain needs exercise too
Whether it’s reading, doing some puzzles, playing cards, board games or learning something new – it’s good to keep your mind active and working things out. It’s also good to keep socially engaged, so visit friends, have them visit you or join a club to make new friends.

For further information on how to reduce your risk of dementia, please visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20010/risk_factors_and_prevention/737/how_to_reduce_your_risk_of_dementia or https://www.dementiacarecentral.com/aboutdementia/facts/risk/