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

Further information on How to Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

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Resources

  • Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementiaThe World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia provide evidence-based recommendations on lifestyle behaviours and interventions to delay or prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
  • Dementia Commissioning know how guideThis resource aims to enable Clinical Commissioning Groups to achieve and maintain dementia diagnosis rate of at least two-thirds of the estimated number of people with dementia, and improve the quality of and access to post diagnostic care for people living with dementia and their carers.
  • Delirium awareness videoDelirium in older adults often goes unrecognised by health care professionals and can be poorly managed. This video was produced with the aim of improving recognition and management of delirium in any healthcare setting.
  • Training resources to improve the dementia component of the NHS Health CheckThese training resources can be used by NHS Health Check trainers and practitioners to improve the quality of their delivery of the dementia component of the check.
  • Implementation guide and resource pack for dementia careThis guide aims to set out the policy drivers and strategic context for transforming dementia care, and why it is of importance to commissioners, providers and sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) in supporting delivery of a number of objectives in the Department of Health’s Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia 2020, published February 2015, which complements the aims of the Five Year Forward View, published in October 2014.
  • Dementia Atlas: Putting a focus on dementiaThe 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.
  • Health matters: midlife approaches to reduce dementia riskThis guidance published by Public Health England makes the case for action in midlife to promote healthy lifestyles that can reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 Implementation PlanThis 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.
  • The dementia profileThe 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.
  • The Daily SparkleThe 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.
  • Dementia core skills education and training frameworkThis 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, disability and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to delay or prevent onsetThis 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.
  • Approaching an unthinkable future – Understanding the support needs of people living with young onset dementiaThis 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.
  • A practical guide to healthy ageingThis 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.
  • World Alzheimer Report 2015: The Global Impact of DementiaThe 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.
  • Dementia DiariesDementia 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 dementiaA series of films providing information to families living with dementia through the entertaining medium of TV/Film.
  • World Alzheimer Report 2014, Dementia and Risk ReductionThe 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.
  • Blackfriars Consensus on promoting brain healthThe 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.
  • Be head strongThis guidance published by the Alzheimer's Society contains tips to help people reduce the risk of developing dementia.
  • Can dementia be prevented?These 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.
  • Am I at risk of developing dementia?This 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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