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Steps you can take which may reduce your risk of dementia

15 May 2023

We're launching the Think Brain Health campaign in Richmond upon Thames, to increase awareness of the healthy behaviours you can adopt which may reduce your risk of getting dementia.

Dementia is not a single disease but is a term used to describe the symptoms that occur when there is a decline in brain function. It can affect memory, thinking skills and other mental abilities.

In February 2023, 1,432 people aged over 65 years old in Richmond upon Thames had a recorded diagnosis of dementia. This figure rises to 2,158 if we add in the estimated number of those who are living with undiagnosed Dementia.

By 2035, the number of people aged over 65 who are diagnosed with dementia will increase by 74% in Richmond upon Thames.

Current evidence suggests that up to 30% of the most common forms of dementia can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier behaviours such as increasing physical activity and reducing alcohol intake. However, only 33% of people think it's possible to reduce their risk of dementia.

There is evidence to suggest that changing certain behaviours may help reduce your risk of developing dementia. These include:

  1. Eating a healthy diet
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight
  3. Exercising regularly
  4. Keeping alcohol within the recommended limits
  5. Not smoking
  6. Keeping blood pressure at a healthy level
  7. Being socially active
  8. Taking regular hearing tests

Find out more about what you can do to encourage these healthy behaviours.

Cllr Piers Allen, Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "Researchers are still investigating how dementia develops, and whilst there is no certain way to prevent all types of dementia, there is very good evidence that supports the idea that what is good for your body is also good for your brain. Dementia is a major health problem which affects millions of people globally, and it’s important that we are all aware of the steps we can take to potentially reduce the risk of it developing.

"The eight healthy behaviours we're aiming to raise awareness of during the Think Brain Health campaign are all about living a healthy lifestyle, which won't just help to reduce your risk of developing dementia but could also help prevent other diseases such as strokes and heart attacks.

"Over the next couple of months, each of the eight healthy behaviours will be explored in the context of dementia and with reference to the various support services that are available to help people in Richmond upon Thames live healthier lives."

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Up to: May 2023

Updated: 15 May 2023

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