Dementia: Reduce your risk in 6 stepsApril 23 2018
This document outlines 6 steps that people can take to improve both physical and mental health and significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia.
The risk of dementia increases with age, and as more people are living longer, the number of people developing dementia will grow. However, it’s never too early or late to start following the 6 steps to reduce your risk of dementia. By taking these steps, you can significantly improve both your physical and mental health as
This leaflet explains the lifestyle choices that affect your risk of dementia, the steps you can take to reduce that risk and where you can go to find out more information and support.
The following six steps will not only make you feel better and reduce your risk of developing dementia, but will also help protect you from other health risks such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
- Be physically active
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Be socially and mentally active
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol
- Stop smoking
- Commit to review your health
Stay physically active
- washing the car,
- cleaning windows,
- taking the stairs instead of the lift,
- swimming or joining a gym.
- try to eat more fruit and vegetables;
- eat 2 portions of fresh, tinned or frozen fish a week;
- cut down on salt, fat and sugar in your diet;
- eat more starchy foods like bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta and potatoes.
Stay mentally active
- playing cards,
- board games and bingo;
- doing crosswords and other puzzles;
- attending a day or evening class;
- learning to play a musical instrument or speak a language.
- keep in touch with friends and family;
- get involved in your community;
- volunteer for something that interests you;
- join a club or class.
Other tips to reduce the risk
- Go for regular health checks and get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years.
- If you smoke, stop. Smoking affects your circulation and may increase the risk of dementia.
- Maintain a healthy body weight as people who are obese are considerably more likely to develop dementia later in life than people with a normal body weight.
- Drink alcohol in moderation as drinking too much can cause alcohol-related dementia. If you drink, don’t exceed the 3 to 4 units a day for men or 2 to 3 units a day for women.
The risk of dementia increases with age. There are currently over 42,000 people with dementia in Wales and this figure is rising. Healthier living may reduce dementia risk by 60%. The infographic below illustrates the facts about dementia in Wales.