Currently there are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia. So, who is most likely to be affected?
Dementia mainly affects people over the age of 65 (one in 14 people in this age group had dementia), and the likelihood of developing dementia increases significantly with age.
However, dementia can affect young people as well. There are more than 42,000 people in the UK under 65 with dementia.
What a risk factor for dementia?
If you, or someone you know, has developed dementia, it is reasonable to ask why. It is usually not possible to say with certainty, though the doctor may be able to say the factor (s) that may have contributed. In most cases a mixture of risk factors – potentially avoidable and not – will be responsible.
What risk factors can we change?
Factors such as high blood pressure, lack of exercise and smoking – all of which leads to narrowing of the arteries – increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Leading a healthy lifestyle, particularly during the middle-aged period can assist in lowering some of the risk of developing dementia. Partaking in physical exercise, like swimming or cycling is beneficial, as is keeping to a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, and drinking alcohol in moderation.
A healthy balanced diet also helps reduce the risk of someone developing dementia. A good diet is a balanced one that is low in saturated fat, doesn’t contain a lot of salt, red meat or sugar, and includes lots of fish, fruits and vegetables. Making these lifestyle choices also have the benefit of reducing the likelihood of other serious conditions as well, such as stroke, heart disease and cancer.
Someone who has been living with conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure or high cholesterol should follow the professional advice to keep their condition under control. It’s also imperative to get depression treated as soon as possible as well. For more information on care for dementia, consider Care homes Taunton at a site like https://www.notarohomes.co.uk/care-home/aspen-court-dementia-nursing-home/
It also seems that keeping mentally and socially active in later life can help lower a person’s risk of dementia. It’s important to stay active by completing puzzles, crosswords or reading, for example. Being socially active also plays a big part in staying mentally active. This could include visiting friends, attending church or going to community groups. Volunteers can offer both mental and social activities, and many organizations offer the opportunity for people looking to donate their time or skills.