How to reduce your risk of Dementia – Ageing Well for Life
In Australia, there is estimated to be over 1,700 new cases of dementia diagnosed each week and it is predicted that by 2058 there will be over a million Australians with the condition, and 10 times as many family members and friends indirectly impacted by its effects.
Whilst this is a challenge, we are learning that there are some simple steps you can take to support ageing well and reduce your risk of dementia based around lifestyle and diet.
Developed in collaboration with Professor Kaarin Anstey, Senior Principal Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and global leader in dementia and ageing research, the Ageing Well for Life booklet is designed to step you through important life plans. There are steps you can adopt at any age to help your risk of dementia.
What is dementia?
Dementia involves a significant loss of cognitive functioning. It can impair thinking, remembering, reasoning, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Dementia is caused by many different conditions. The most common cause of dementia in Australia is Alzheimer’s disease, followed by vascular dementia.
The early signs of dementia are very subtle and vague and may not be immediately obvious to family, friends or a local GPs. Some common symptoms may include progressive and frequent memory loss, confusion around instructions, directions and discussing details from the previous day, personality change or mood swings.
How can you reduce your risk of dementia?
It is not possible to cure dementia, but there is growing research on how to prevent or delay the onset. Listed below are some of the ways how:
- Physical Activity
A sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity is associated with an increased risk of dementia. Regular exercise including aerobic activities such as walking and cycling, as well as strength training have been associated with reduced risk of dementia.
- A Healthy Diet
It’s important to avoid processed food and to eat lots of fruits and green leafy vegetables, as part of your ageing well plan. The overall pattern of a person’s diet is what seems to be most important, with the Mediterranean style of diet providing to have health benefits.
- Keeping your brain active
We know from lots of research that people who do more stimulating activities throughout their life have better brain function and a lower chance of developing dementia. Activities for the ageing brain may include learning a second language or a musical instrument, or work on crosswords or other kinds of puzzles.
Volunteer in Research
NeuRA is one of the largest research institutes in Australia dedicated to the study of brain and nervous system. As a research participant at NeuRA, you will play a critical role in helping us advance the treatment and understanding of many diseases and conditions.
Find out more about our research studies here:
Find out more
Get your free Ageing Well for Life Booklet.
For more advice on reducing risk of dementia, complete the below online form to receive your free Ageing Well for Life booklet. The booklet includes the latest research and recommendations in the field of dementia.