DementiaRoadmap

Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Risk reduction

There is now a sufficient amount of research evidence that the following lifestyle approaches can reduce the risk of an individual (or a population if undertaken on a bigger scale) developing dementia later in life.

It is important to note that not only will these approaches also reduce the risk of other important diseases, but they may also help people already diagnosed with dementia maintain their independence and brain functioning for longer.

These approaches are recommended by Public Health England and NICE.

  • Getting into the habit of taking regular, daily, short periods of exercise such as a 15 minute walk.
  • Making small steps to lose some weight and thereby also reduce your risk of diabetes (or helping you manage diabetes if you are already diagnosed).
  • Looking after your mental health and seeking help promptly if you feel depressed.
  • Seek advice from your GP if you don't feel refreshed after a nights sleep, especially if you snore and/or are overweight.
  • Eating a diet which is good for your heart (what's good for your heart is good for your brain).
  • Stopping smoking using whichever local support network or medication which suits you best.
  • Reducing your alcohol intake to a maximum of 14units per week (moderate intake) Drink Aware unit calculator

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  • Dementia core skills education and training frameworkOctober 29 2015This framework published by Skills for Health, Health Education England and Skills for Care sets out the essential skills and knowledge necessary for all staff involved in dementia care.
  • Dementia Atlas: Putting a focus on dementiaAugust 16 2016The Dementia Atlas is an interactive map that plots data about dementia care and support, allowing people to compare the quality of dementia care across the country.
  • World Alzheimer Report 2015: The Global Impact of DementiaAugust 25 2015The World Alzheimer Report 2015, 'The Global Impact of Dementia: An analysis of prevalence, incidence, cost and trends' makes key recommendations to provide a global framework for action on dementia.
  • Approaching an unthinkable future – Understanding the support needs of people living with young onset dementiaOctober 7 2015This report explores the experiences of people living with young onset dementia contacted by Dementia Pathfinders during a social care workforce training project in 2014 and 2015.
  • Dementia, disability and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to delay or prevent onsetOctober 22 2015This guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence aims to increase the amount of time that people can be independent, healthy and active in later life.
  • The Daily SparkleFebruary 8 2016The Daily Sparkle is a professionally written daily and weekly reminiscence and activity tool supported by the UK's leading care organisations such as the NHS, AgeUK and DementiaUK.
  • Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 Implementation PlanMarch 6 2016This implementation plan outlines how the 50 commitments set out in the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia 2020 will be met, ensuring that England becomes the world-leader in dementia care, research and awareness by 2020.
  • Health matters: midlife approaches to reduce dementia riskApril 12 2016This guidance published by Public Health England makes the case for action in midlife to promote healthy lifestyles that can reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Can dementia be prevented?February 16 2014These web pages on the NHS Choices portal give advice on leading a healthy lifestyle to help lower your risk of developing dementia when you are older.
  • The dementia profileMarch 1 2016The dementia profile developed by the Dementia Intelligence Network collects new and existing data on dementia at both Clinical Commissioning Group and local authority level. This will assist the local planning of services and support areas to make sustainable improvements from an easily accessible online platform.
  • Dementia DiariesJune 4 2015Dementia Diaries is a national project that brings together people’s diverse experiences of living with dementia as a series of audio diaries.
  • The Sound Doctor: Getting the best out of life with dementiaMarch 23 2015A series of films providing information to families living with dementia through the entertaining medium of TV/Film.
  • Blackfriars Consensus on promoting brain healthMay 3 2014The Blackfriars Consensus, published by the UK Health Forum and Public Health England, explores the potential for incorporation of dementia risk reduction into current approaches for non-communicable diseases.
  • A practical guide to healthy ageingOctober 1 2015This guide published by NHS England and Age UK contains advice to help improve the health and general fitness of people of any age, but it is particularly relevant for people who are about 70 years or older.
  • Be head strongMarch 16 2014This guidance published by the Alzheimer's Society contains tips to help people reduce the risk of developing dementia.
  • World Alzheimer Report 2014, Dementia and Risk ReductionSeptember 16 2014The World Alzheimer Report 2014, Dementia and Risk Reduction: An analysis of protective and modifiable factors critically examines the evidence for the existence of modifiable risk factors for dementia.
  • Am I at risk of developing dementia?January 16 2014This factsheet published by the Alzheimer's Society explains what we know about the risks associated with developing different types of dementia, and gives some advice on the steps people can take to reduce their risk.
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