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August 29th, 2017

Last month the Lancet Commission listed the major factors which could play a part in reducing the risk of dementia, one of the biggest killers in the UK.

Some risk factors, like age and genetics, can’t be changed. But there are others, including smoking, diet and not getting enough exercise, that you can proactively do something about.

Here are Alzheimer’s Research UK guidelines on reducing the risk factors you have some control over:

  • Smoking: cutting down, or – ideally – giving up will reduce the risk of dementia. It’s not easy, but a good starting point is the NHS Smokefree National Helpline, which is free to call on 0300 123 1044.
  • High blood pressure: this can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions including forms of dementia. Exercise, good diet, and stopping smoking can all help to reduce your blood pressure.
  • Social isolation and lack of mental stimulation: research findings suggest this may contribute to cognitive decline and therefore raise the risk of developing dementia. Maintaining a social life, and keeping mentally active – through things like joining clubs, doing crosswords or sudoku – will help lower the dementia risk.
  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes: there is strong evidence linking obesity to dementia. Obesity is closely linked to type 2 diabetes which is also a risk factor linked to dementia. Eating healthily and exercising regularly will help combat both these risks at once.

For more information about dementia and curbing the risks of developing the disease, visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org.

At DoCare, we always take a particular interest in any new research relating to dementia, as many of our clients live with the condition. This advice from Alzheimer’s Research UK is excellent, and worth following not just because it will help reduce the risk of dementia but because it will lead to a generally healthier lifestyle for us all.

This blog was written by DoCare Director Steve Mills. If you have a relative who you think would benefit from DoCare’s services, or would like assistance yourself, please get in touch.  If you are interested in a rewarding career as a support worker, we would love to hear from you – please give us a call or you can apply online.