Millions of people are affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s every year. These conditions affect the memory and are mainly suffered by older people. At present, there is no cure, but research is ongoing to find ways of preventing dementia. While most of the risk factors are out of your control, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of dementia –all of which will improve your long-term health and wellbeing.
Dementia in the UK
Dementia statistics show that 1 in 3 people born in the UK this year will develop the disease in their lifetime. This disease affects many people directly and indirectly, as around 24.6 million people in the UK have a family member or friend who has dementia.
In 2016, dementia was cited the nation’s leading cause of death, and with an ageing population, the number of deaths from dementia each year are set to increase. There is currently no cure for dementia, but there are treatments available that can help sufferers manage their symptoms and live independently for longer.
How to reduce your risk of dementia
Research into the exact causes of dementia is ongoing. However, research suggests that lifestyle factors do have a part to play. With this in mind, here are some ways you can reduce your risk of developing dementia:
Maintain a healthy weight
Studies suggest that both obesity and diabetes can increase your risk of dementia, whereas maintaining a healthy weight can help you avoid many age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A healthy weight can be achieved by eating a balanced diet, practicing portion control and exercising regularly.
Stay physically active
Exercise has many benefits for your health, especially as you get older. What’s more, it is now recognised as one of the best ways to reduce dementia risk and boost brain function. Walking and swimming regularly can help you to stay active at any age, and they also boast many benefits for your mental and physical health.
Smoking has been proven to cause many types of illness, including lung cancer. It can also affect your cognitive abilities as you age, which could lead to dementia. If you need help giving up smoking, your GP can offer you support and help you quit for good.
Keep your mind active
Keeping your mind active is crucial for reducing dementia risk. By keeping your brain engaged, you can help to keep your mind sharp and improve your memory. Try learning a new language or testing your brain through quizzes, reading, or doing puzzles.
Dementia is a serious condition which is close to many of our hearts. Making some healthy lifestyle choices could reduce your risk of dementia and help you avoid many other conditions in later life. If you’re interested in staying up to date on health news and advice on healthy living, be sure to visit our blog regularly.