From reading through the Care Quality Matters newsletter that we at HomeCareDirect receive we wanted to share an article of interest with you.

Twenty percent reported reduction in Dementia – How you can play your part

Research published by the Alzheimer’s Society (Nature Communications, 2016) has shown a 20% reduction in the incidence of dementia over the past two decades. The reduction, mainly identified in men, is thought to be due to better management of the risk factors associated with the onset of dementia. Care staff can play their part in helping people reduce their risk of developing dementia by giving the following advice:

  • Regular exercise improves thinking and memory and can reduce the risk of developing dementia. Staff can help people to keep physically active, where possible. Exercise should be hard enough to raise the heart rate. A risk assessment should be considered or carried out based on the person’s ability before starting any exercise programme.
  • Activities that stimulate the brain (such as reading, learning and doing puzzles) can reduce the likelihood of developing dementia, so arrange activities that include these pursuits.
  • People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing Dementia. Help, to avoid the onset of diabetes by advising the person to maintain a healthy weight (i.e a BMI below 25), eat a balanced diet that is low in sugar, high in fruit, vegetables and unrefined cereals (e.g wholegrain bread) and contains only small amounts of red meat. If the person already has diabetes, help them to manage their condition.
  • Smokers have a 50% greater chance of developing dementia, so encourage the person to reduce their smoking or, ideally, quit altogether.