There is much debate at the moment as to the extent to which people can prevent or reduce the risk of acquiring brain diseases such as Dementia in later life. A recently published YouGov poll of more than 2,000 people by the Alzheimer’s Society found that 22 per cent of people do not think it was possible to reduce their risk of dementia.
However, the charity suggests that “five simple changes” to the average lifestyle could make a significant difference, with regular exercise highlighted as the most important factor despite growing evidence that the condition is linked to lifestyles.
Dr Clare Walton from Alzheimer's Society said: “Some 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia but with no cure yet, we need a significant public health effort to attempt to reduce the number of future cases of the condition.
“We know that what is good for your heart is good for your head and there are simple things you can start doing now to reduce your risk of developing dementia. Regular exercise is a good place to start as well as eating a healthy diet and avoiding smoking’.
The advice from the Alzheimer’s Society is not ‘rocket science’ and we at Home Instead are encouraging our clients to do the following:
• Exercise – even if it is just a regular walk around the block, a walk to the shops or some light exercises sitting in a chair, It all helps
• Eat more fruit and vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts, a little red wine and not much meat or dairy – all very Mediterranean, tasty and healthy at the same time
• Manage other health conditions – other conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure both increase the risk of developing dementia, so get these checked and follow medical advice to keep them under control
• Avoid smoking - it significantly increases the risk of developing dementia, most likely because it damages blood vessels and reduces the amount of blood that reaches your brain
• Use it or lose it – scientists believe that frequently challenging and stimulating the brain with new things is the key, whether it’s changing your routine from time to time, learning something new or even just exploring somewhere new in your area