In October the topic of the Alzheimer Cafe, Leixlip talk was “Dementia Prevention”. Professor Sean Kennelly, Consultant Geriatrician indicated that it is possible to help prevent many types of dementia or help you to live well with dementia. It is important to remember that dementia IS NOT A PART OF NORMAL AGEING. He outlined NINE key dementia prevention/living well techniques:
- Stop smoking- smoking can double your risk of dementia.
- Get your hearing checked- people with:
Mild hearing loss are 2 times more likely to develop dementia.
Moderate hearing loss are 3 times more likely to develop dementia.
Severe hearing loss are 5 times more likely to develop dementia.
- Look out for signs of depression- signs of depression can often mimic dementia. Always consider this if you are worried about your memory and seek help!!
- Know your figures- blood pressure, diabetes (glucose levels), Body Mass Index (obesity).
- Get a good nights sleep, particularly in mid-life- you are more likely to develop dementia if you get less than five hours sleep at night.
- Reduce alcohol intake- moderate drinkers are 60% more likely to experience cognitive decline. Alcohol can be toxic to the brain but this does not mean that it needs to be cut out altogether. The key message is everything in moderation.
- Get busy- Go to the brain gym daily. Take on a project, do something outside your comfort zone. Think about local groups such as Men’s Sheds, Active Retirement Groups etc.
- Get active and reduce your weight
- Eat wisely….healthy heart……healthy brain. Eat more fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and reduce the intake of red meat.