DementiaRoadmap Wales

Promoting living well with dementia across Wales

Risk reduction

There is now a sufficient amount of research evidence that the following lifestyle approaches can reduce the risk of an individual (or a population if undertaken on a bigger scale) developing dementia later in life.

It is important to note that not only will these approaches also reduce the risk of other important diseases, but they may also help people already diagnosed with dementia maintain their independence and brain functioning for longer.

These approaches are recommended by Public Health England and NICE.

  • Getting into the habit of taking regular, daily, short periods of exercise such as a 15 minute walk.
  • Making small steps to lose some weight and thereby also reduce your risk of diabetes (or helping you manage diabetes if you are already diagnosed).
  • Looking after your mental health and seeking help promptly if you feel depressed.
  • Seek advice from your GP if you don't feel refreshed after a nights sleep, especially if you snore and/or are overweight.
  • Eating a diet which is good for your heart (what's good for your heart is good for your brain).
  • Stopping smoking using whichever local support network or medication which suits you best.
  • Reducing your alcohol intake to a maximum of 14units per week (moderate intake) Drink Aware unit calculator

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  • Dementia: Reduce your risk in 6 stepsApril 23 2018This document outlines 6 steps that people can take to improve both physical and mental health and significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia.
  • Dementia core skills education and training frameworkOctober 29 2015This framework published by Skills for Health, Health Education England and Skills for Care sets out the essential skills and knowledge necessary for all staff involved in dementia care.
  • World Alzheimer Report 2015: The Global Impact of DementiaAugust 25 2015The World Alzheimer Report 2015, 'The Global Impact of Dementia: An analysis of prevalence, incidence, cost and trends' makes key recommendations to provide a global framework for action on dementia.
  • The Daily SparkleFebruary 5 2016The Daily Sparkle is a professionally written daily and weekly reminiscence and activity tool supported by the UK's leading care organisations such as the NHS, AgeUK and DementiaUK.
  • Prevalence of dementia in population groups by protected characteristics: a systematic review of the literatureOctober 2 2015This literature review published by Public Health England examines evidence on how the prevalence of dementia varies with different characteristics, such as ethnicity, gender and religion.
  • Dementia rarely travels alone: living with dementia and other conditionsApril 20 2016This report published by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Dementia examines the scale of difficulty faced by people living with both dementia and other health conditions, and how the health and social care system can provide holistic, person-centred care and support for this growing body of people.
  • Dementia, disability and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to delay or prevent onsetOctober 22 2015This guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence aims to increase the amount of time that people can be independent, healthy and active in later life.
  • Approaching an unthinkable future – Understanding the support needs of people living with young onset dementiaOctober 7 2015This report explores the experiences of people living with young onset dementia contacted by Dementia Pathfinders during a social care workforce training project in 2014 and 2015.
  • Dementia DiariesJune 4 2015Dementia Diaries is a national project that brings together people’s diverse experiences of living with dementia as a series of audio diaries.
  • The Sound Doctor: Getting the best out of life with dementiaMarch 23 2015The Sound Doctor is a website full of films developed to help individuals, their relatives and carers to better understand the condition so that they can all take control and get the most out of life.
  • Blackfriars Consensus on promoting brain healthMay 3 2014The Blackfriars Consensus, published by the UK Health Forum and Public Health England, explores the potential for incorporation of dementia risk reduction into current approaches for non-communicable diseases.
  • Be head strongMarch 16 2014This guidance published by the Alzheimer's Society contains tips to help people reduce the risk of developing dementia.
  • Can dementia be prevented?February 16 2014These web pages on the NHS Choices portal give advice on leading a healthy lifestyle to help lower your risk of developing dementia when you are older.
  • World Alzheimer Report 2014, Dementia and Risk ReductionSeptember 16 2014The World Alzheimer Report 2014, Dementia and Risk Reduction: An analysis of protective and modifiable factors critically examines the evidence for the existence of modifiable risk factors for dementia.
  • Am I at risk of developing dementia?January 16 2014This factsheet published by the Alzheimer's Society explains what we know about the risks associated with developing different types of dementia, and gives some advice on the steps people can take to reduce their risk.
  • A practical guide to healthy ageingOctober 1 2015This guide published by NHS England and Age UK contains advice to help improve the health and general fitness of people of any age, but it is particularly relevant for people who are about 70 years or older.
  • Dewis CymruApril 27 2018Dewis Cymru is a website that provides information and advice about well-being. In addition to health information, Dewis Cymru provides information about people and services in your area that can help you with the things that matter to you.
  • Training resources to improve the dementia component of the NHS Health CheckFebruary 12 2018These training resources can be used by NHS Health Check trainers and practitioners to improve the quality of their delivery of the dementia component of the check.
  • Dementia Friends – bookcase analogyOctober 16 2018In this film Natalie Rodriguez, Dementia Friends Champion, uses a bookcase analogy to describe how dementia may affect a person. This simple explanation, orginally devised by Dr Gemma Jones, can be helpful for Dementia Friends Champions to explain dementia to others.
  • Home Safety House Check by South Wales Fire and Rescue ServiceApril 18 2019South Wales Fire and Rescue offer you the opportunity to have a FREE Safe and Well visit in your home. This will be carried out by firefighters from your local Fire Station and their Home Safety Team. The visit takes about 30 minutes and they will provide and install free smoke alarms, heat detectors and carbon monoxide alarms where risk is identified. Alarms for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing are also available.
  • Dementia Action Plan for Wales 2018 – 2022November 20 2019The Welsh government have adopted the Dementia Action Plan for Wales 2018 - 2022, with Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, stating that,  "Our vision is for Wales to be a dementia friendly nation that recognises the rights of people with dementia to feel valued and to live as independently as possible in their communities."
  • Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementiaMay 14 2019The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia provide evidence-based recommendations on lifestyle behaviours and interventions to delay or prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
  • The Many Faces of DementiaSeptember 9 2019This online course enables you to gain a unique insight into dementia through the stories, symptoms and science behind four less common diagnoses of dementia, the people involved and the implications of these for our wider understanding.
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