The number of people being diagnosed with Dementia is increasing according to the Alzheimer’s Society there are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia. One in 14 people over 65 will develop dementia, and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80. If you are becoming forgetful and you are particularly over the age of 65,, you may want to talk to your GP about early signs of dementia. When you get older you may find that memory loss becomes a problem. It is normal for your memory to be affected by stress, tiredness or certain illnesses and medications. This can be frustrating over time however if it is effecting your daily life or is worrying you or someone you know it is important to get it checked over by a GP. Dementia isn’t just about memory loss. It can also affect the way you speak, think, feel and behave.
You may be wondering what dementia consists of as some people often get confused about the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. This may include problems with:
- memory loss
- thinking speed
- mental sharpness and quickness
- difficulties carrying out daily activities
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia, together with vascular dementia makes up the vast majority of cases.
Luckily there can be ways in which you can reduce your risk of getting dementia. Within the NHS Health Check we talk about ways in which you can lower your risk so make sure that you book in with us to have your health check done after this pandemic is over. For now see below on ways to reduce your risk:
Be physically active
Doing regular physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia. It’s good for your heart, circulation, weight and mental wellbeing.
Make sure you are keeping a balanced diet. Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetable a day. Eat protein at least twice a week, limit your sugar intake and look out for hidden salt and eat less saturated fat
Don’t smoke and drink less alcohol
Smoking does a lot of harm to the circulation of blood around the body, including the blood vessels in the brain, as well as the heart and lungs. By stopping reduces this chance. Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of developing dementia try keep to 14 units a week and don’t binge drink.
Exercise your mind
Keeping your mind active is likely to reduce your risk of dementia. Regularly challenging yourself mentally seems to build up the brain’s ability to cope with disease. Learn a new language, do puzzles, crosswords or quizzes, play card games or board games, read challenging books.