Exploding The Myths About Dementia

Published: 22/05/2019

When it comes to dementia, there’s a lot of misleading information floating around. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to explode one of the most enduring myths…the idea that it is an inevitable part of ageing.

 
 
 
Written by: Ken Oxley  
Alzheimer's Society  
North East & Cumbria  
 

When it comes to dementia, there’s a lot of misleading information floating around. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to explode one of the most enduring myths…the idea that it is an inevitable part of ageing.

Incredibly, a recent poll published by Alzheimer’s Research UK reveals three out of four people are unaware they can reduce their risk of developing the condition.

Just think about that for a moment – 75% of the population are misinformed about a disease that affects 850,000 people nationwide.

That’s a worrying statistic – especially as that figure is expected to increase to more than one million by 2025.
So let’s take a closer look at the facts. Firstly, you are not destined to develop dementia – only one in five people over 80 have the condition. Secondly, whilst the causes are not fully understood, you can lower your risk by making simple lifestyle changes.

No doubt you can guess what that means – eating a healthy, balanced diet; taking regular exercise; cutting down on excessive alcohol consumption and definitely no smoking.

The Guardian newspaper ran a more detailed article about this recently.

However, the advice from Alzheimer’s Research is very straight forward and boils down to “what’s good for your heart is good for your head.” I’m sure this is excellent advice. However, here at the Alzheimer’s Society we are also keen to emphasise that you can live well with the condition.

Many people who are recently diagnosed find this hard to accept – but the range of activities and services we offer do make it possible. From Dementia Cafes’ and peer support groups to interactive sessions such as Singing for the Brain and Games for the Brain, we ensure people with dementia continue to enjoy life.

And these services also offer carers invaluable opportunities to engage with and learn from the experiences of others.
I’ll talk in more detail about our services in subsequent blogs. In the meantime, if you want to find out what services are available in your area, simply visit our website at www.alzheimers.org.uk  and click on ‘local information’ on the Homepage menu.

Ken Oxley is the Media Officer for the Alzheimer’s Society in the North East and Cumbria. For information about the charity’s services call 01642 442030 or visit our website.