Dementia: Lifestyle changes that could lower your risk

Nearly everyone can lower their risk of dementia, even if it runs in the family, by living a healthy lifestyle, research suggests. The study of nearly 200,000 people showed the risk fell by up to a third. The team at the University of Exeter said the results were exciting, empowering and showed people were not doomed to get dementia. The findings were revealed at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

What counts as a healthy lifestyle?

The researchers gave people a healthy lifestyle score based on a combination of exercise, diet, alcohol and smoking.

This is an example of someone who scored well:

  • Doesn’t currently smoke
  • Cycles at normal pace for two-and-a-half hours a week
  • Eats a balanced diet that includes more than three portions of fruit and vegetables a day, eats fish twice a week and rarely eats processed meat
  • Drinks up to one pint of beer a day

And an unhealthy one?

  • Currently smokes regularly
  • Does no regular exercise
  • Eats a diet that includes less than three servings of fruit and vegetables a week, and includes two or more servings of processed meat and of red meat a week
  • Drinks at least three pints of beer a day

To read more, go to: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-48963215

What is the value of the outdoors for someone living with dementia?

Spending time in the outdoors holds many benefits, from achieving the necessary dose of Vitamin D to exploring our senses and socialising, and this is no different for someone living with dementia.

Whilst extra care may be necessary, there is true value to experiencing the outdoors when living with dementia.

As we age it’s common for our senses to decline and it’s therefore important to explore different ways of engaging them to stay connected. When living with dementia, our connection to the world may feel even more distant, as communication difficulties arise, it is therefore vital that other dementia activities are explored. The outdoors provides an excellent multi-sensory platform and can be brilliant way to explore the senses.

To read more about this go to: https://www.healtheuropa.eu/living-with-dementia/91377/

Our CASCADE project is aiming to improve the lives and the care for people living with dementia. To read more about the project go to: https://www.interreg2seas.eu/en/cascade

Improving the Lives of People with Dementia 

Across the OECD, nearly 19 million people are living with dementia. Millions of family members and friends provide care and support to loved ones with dementia throughout their lives. Globally, dementia costs over USD 1 trillion per year and represents one of the leading causes of disability for elderly adults. These numbers will continue to rise as populations age. Until a cure or disease-modifying treatment for dementia is developed, the progress of the disease cannot be stopped. This report presents the most up-to-date and comprehensive cross-country assessment of the state of dementia care in OECD countries. In recent years, OECD countries have enhanced their efforts to provide high-quality dementia care during diagnosis, early and advanced dementia, but improving measurement is necessary for enhancements in care quality and outcomes for people with dementia. The report advises a set of policies that can help countries to improve diagnosis, strengthen access to care services, improve the quality of care, and support the families and carers of people living with dementia. Measuring and comparing the services that are delivered to people with dementia and the outcomes they achieve is a crucial part of improving dementia care. Most health systems have very poor data on dementia care and  countries should work to strengthen the measurement of quality and outcomes of dementia care.

To read more about this on the OECD website, go to: Care Needed – Improving the Lives of People with Dementia – en – OECD

Dementia: Self Sustaining Communities

May 2014. Our annual conference showcased award winning innovative initiatives and projects from across Europe and the UK, aimed to better support people with dementia living in the community or care home environment.  

The programme includes speakers’ details, and the presentations below are listed in the order they appear on the programme: