Let’s talk about dementia: Promoting a healthy brain

This month marks World Alzheimer’s Month, where people around the world join together to raise awareness and challenge the stigma around dementia. The campaign is part of a global initiative led by Alzheimer’s Disease International, with 21st September marking the official World Alzheimer’s Day.

The theme for this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month is ‘Let’s talk about dementia’, encouraging more people to join the conversation and break down the stereotypes.

Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that interferes with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. A person who is living with dementia will often display behaviours that are out of character and their condition will get progressively worse over time.

 

While getting older is the biggest risk factor for dementia, evidence shows there are some things you can do to help reduce the risk to yourself and your loved ones.

 

Here are some steps towards promoting a healthy brain:

 

1. Be Physically Active

Doing regular physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia. As a dementia specialist home, Rosebank has a range of activities designed to stimulate residents’ minds and keep them socially engaged, for example, taking part in weekly ‘Keep Fit’ sessions, music sessions and memory skills sessions. It’s great for your heart, circulation, weight and mental wellbeing. It’s important to find activities that work for you, as you’re more likely to remain consistent with these activities.

 

2. Maintain a Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy, well balanced diet is proven to reduce your risk of dementia, as well as other conditions, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart disease.
A useful way of implementing this is to refer to the Eatwell Guide, which shows us how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group in order to maintain a healthy diet.

 

3. Drink Less Alcohol & Don’t Smoke

Too much alcohol consumption has well-documented negative effects on both short- and long-term health, one of which is brain damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
Try setting yourself a limit and keeping track of how much you’re drinking or choose low-alcohol or alcohol-free drinks.

There is strong evidence that smoking can increase your risk of dementia. Not everyone who smokes will get dementia, but stopping smoking is thought to reduce your risk down to the level of non-smokers. Try talking to your GP about different ways to stop smoking or use the NHS Smoke free support services, which include a useful app, helpline and local support services.

 

4. Train your brain 

Keeping your mind active is likely to reduce your risk of developing dementia. Routinely challenging yourself mentally seems to build up the brain’s ability to cope with disease. Rosebank residents enjoy playing Connect Four, painting, colouring, word searches, crosswords and puzzles whilst also taking part in daily quizzes.

 

Show your support for World Alzheimer’s Month by using the hashtag #WorldAlzheimersMonth

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Here at Rosebank Care Home, we support our residents in reminiscing on the past through activities such as scrapbooking and photo collage making.

As a dementia specialist home, we have a range of activities designed to stimulate your loved one’s mind and keep them socially engaged. If you’d like to hear more about our Bampton-based home, our team would love to speak to you.

To contact us, call 01993 850308, and keep up to date with the latest news on our Facebook page.

 

Help includes:

 

Dementia UK – https://www.dementiauk.org/sources-of-support-for-families/

Alzheimer’s Society – https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20046/help_with_dementia_care/79/carers_looking_after_yourself/4
Or call the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122.

Age UK – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/helping-a-loved-one/caring-dementia/

Dementia Care – http://www.dementiacare.org.uk/services/need-some-advice/carers-support/

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