24 May D is for Dementia
As part of Dementia Action Week, we want to raise awareness and start the conversation.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.
The brain is made up of nerve cells (neurones) that communicate with each other by sending messages. Dementia damages the nerve cells in the brain, so messages can’t be sent from and to the brain effectively, which prevents the body from functioning normally.
Dementia can affect a person at any age, but it is more commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 65 years. A person developing dementia before age 65 is said to have young onset dementia.
There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is set to rise to over one million by 2021.
Currently the most common form of Dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease.
For signs and symptoms of Dementia, please visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis
You can’t avoid getting Dementia, but you can lower your risk of developing it.
Everything that keeps your heart healthy also keeps your brain healthy. So, try to eat a balanced healthy diet, quit smoking, avoid drinking too much alcohol, and keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control.
Stay physically active and mentally stimulated with different activities so that you use different parts of the brain. For example, walking, gardening, singing, art, music, reading, and all other hobbies and interests are thought to help.
For a great article on Dementia, please visit https://www.dementiauk.org/understanding-dementia/advice-and-information/dementia-first-steps/what-is-dementia/
One You East Sussex’s Role
As part of NHS Health Checks at One You East Sussex, we will always talk about the signs and symptoms of Dementia if you’re over 65, or in cases where there is a reason to. You will then receive personalised advice to lower your risk. This could include talking about: how to improve your diet and the amount of physical activity you do, taking medicines to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, how to lose weight or stop smoking.
Finally, we encourage everyone to join the cause, it starts with a conversation.