It is reported that around 50 million people around the world are living with Dementia, and with 10 million news cases reported each year, its growing at an alarming rate. Dementia can affect anyone and doesn’t discriminate against the elderly or the young and unfortunately there currently is no cure for Dementia.
Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases such as strokes, or Alzheimer’s disease. There are many different types of Dementia, such as Alzheimer’s which is thought to affect around 60% of people living with Dementia. There is also Frontotemporal Dementia, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Mixed Dementia and Young-onset Dementia. All Dementia types bring about different symptoms, including memory loss, anxiety, difficulty with numbers, and more.
With Dementia affecting so many people globally the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recently released a report detailing a number of lifestyle changes that is thought to help people reduce their risk of Dementia. It recommends regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol, keeping control your weight and maintaining a healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It is also recommended that regular cognitive exercise can also help to reduce the risk of Dementia, such as learning a new skill, or testing your memory daily. WHO suggested that in the next 30 years, the number of people with Dementia is set to triple, and so these lifestyle changes have been highlighted at an important time. The research and scientific evidence further confirm that “What is good for the heart, is good for the brain”, so looking after your body as a whole is crucial to doing everything to prevent getting Dementia.
The BBC has also recently aired a programme called ‘Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure’. Vicky is an Alzheimer’s Society ambassador after her grandmother lived with Dementia and continues to campaign to help those living with this awful disease. The heart-warming programme followed a 20 strong Choir, all of which live with different types of Dementia, showing how music can help. Watch the series online at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004pyg
WHO Report is available to view at: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/14-05-2019-adopting-a-healthy-lifestyle-helps-reduce-the-risk-of-dementia
For more information about Dementia, please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk