There is growing evidence to suggest health and lifestyle factors like staying mentally active, eating a healthy diet and maintaining social connections can help protect against dementia, among other positive benefits.
Dementia can affect your memory, cognition and behaviour. Small changes to your daily activities can help reduce your risk or lessen the severity of any symptoms you may be experiencing. Our tips below are simple changes you can make to lead a happier, healthier day.
Challenge your brain
Keeping your brain active with new activities helps to build new brain cells and strengthen connections between them. It can also help your brain keep working when some brain cells are damaged or die. Increase your mental activity by:
- Continuing to work in a mentally challenging role
- Playing bingo, bridge, Sudoku or puzzles
- Learning a new language, computer skills or completing a course.
Luminosity is also a fun way to keep your brain active using neuroscience, gaming and visual arts to create fun online activities to keep you thinking.
Social technology programme can help you learn computer and internet skills, as well as help you get started with some fun brain activities.
Maintaining your social connections provides mental stimulation, emotional connection and physical activity which can reduce the risk of vascular disease and depression. Make an effort to socialise by:
- Going on bus trips or outings with friends and family, planning travel or just getting out to enjoy a coffee or lunch
- Joining hobby groups, cooking classes or card groups
- Volunteering with community or charity groups
Our Social Support group can help you get out and about more.
Regular physical activity helps with blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which will also improve heart health, cholesterol and blood pressure. Start moving by:
- Walking, going to the gym or doing gentle exercises at home
- Taking up lawn bowls, golf, yoga or tai chi
- Swimming or dancing
Keeping Mobile and Preventing Falls program can help you stay physically fit and active.
A healthy diet lower in saturated fats and high in fruits and vegetables can improve brain function and promote other benefits for your body. Try to eat a variety of foods from different food groups to maintain a healthy balance.
Reduce alcohol consumption and stop smoking
Drinking very large consumptions of alcohol will increase the risk of cognitive impairment. Avoid more than two standard drinks per day. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and dementia. Giving up smoking has immediate health benefits.
Avoid head injuries
Moderate to severe head injury increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Take care when playing contact sports, wear a helmet with cycling or riding a motorbike, wear a seatbelt when travelling by car.
Control your risk of heart disease and diabetes
Untreated high blood pressure and cholesterol can lead to damage to blood vessels in the brain. This increases the risk of stroke, cognitive impairment and vascular dementia. Seek advice from your doctor about your healthy range.
Prevention and careful management of diabetes, through early screening and lifestyle modification, may reduce the incidence of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. we can help you manage heart disease, diabetes and other medical conditions you may have.
Obesity is associated with a higher risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which can increase the risk of developing dementia.