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Seven ways to help reduce your risk of 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.

Current evidence suggests that up to 30% of the most common forms of dementia may be prevented or delayed simply by addressing some risk factors. It is however estimated that only 33% of people think it's possible to reduce their risk of dementia – so we have launched a campaign aimed at adults aged 40-65 to increase awareness of the healthy behaviours you can adopt which may help reduce your risk of getting dementia.

Check whether you are keeping your brain healthy in the following ways:

1. Maintaining a healthy weight

Find out whether your weight is within a healthy range using the healthy weight calculator by NHS.

2. Stopping smoking 

It’s never too late to quit smoking and you are four times more likely to stop smoking for good if you use your local, free Stop Smoking Service.

3. Keeping alcohol within recommended limits

The Richmond DrinkChecker tool allows you to 'take the drink test' to find out if you are drinking too much. It then helps you set goals to drink less, see how much you can save in money and calories by reducing your drinking, and find information about local support services. 

4. Exercising regularly

A lack of regular physical activity can increase your risk of heart disease, becoming overweight or obese, and type 2 diabetes, which are all linked to a higher risk of dementia. View local exercising opportunities.

5. Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level 

Check your blood pressure by getting a quick and free 20-minute check up with your GP. Find out about NHS Health Check.

6. Being socially active  

Take time to connect with others by getting involved in your local community, joining a sports club, volunteering or joining a Friendly Parks for All Activity.

7. Eating a healthy, balanced diet

When it comes to your diet, there is evidence that eating a Mediterranean-style diet may reduce the risk of developing problems with memory and thinking and getting some forms of dementia. The Eatwell Guide (NHS) shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group.

Updated: 28 September 2022

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