Health & Well­be­ing

Q. My fa­ther suf­fered from dementia in later life and I worry this may hap­pen to me, too. Is there any­thing I can do to re­duce my risks?

The People's Friend - - Contents -

I can fully un­der­stand why peo­ple worry about dementia, es­pe­cially if one of their par­ents was di­ag­nosed with the con­di­tion. Dementia can de­velop at any age and fol­low­ing

cer­tain ill­nesses but there is no cer­tainty who will be af­fected. You can see your GP about ge­netic tests to see if you are more at risk, but this is very much a per­sonal choice.

There are things you can do to re­duce risks. As with many other ill­nesses, keep­ing your­self in good health and mak­ing sim­ple lifestyle changes can help re­duce the chances of de­vel­op­ing dementia.

At Anchor we ad­vise peo­ple to eat well, drink al­co­hol mod­er­ately and try to re­duce your stresses as much as you can. Ex­er­cise reg­u­larly, and smok­ing is a no-no.

What’s good for the body is gen­er­ally good for the brain. Feed­ing it with the right nu­tri­ents and in­creas­ing oxy­gen and blood sup­ply through a good work­out is im­por­tant, but so is ex­er­cis­ing your brain.

Com­plet­ing quizzes and cross­words or learn­ing a for­eign lan­guage are good for mental health, as is be­ing so­cially con­nected.

Gill Al­latt, Dementia Lead at Anchor, is here to help.

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