What is dementia?
Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning. It is a broad term used to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning. There are many types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and Lewy body disease.
Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia; contributing to 5.4% of all deaths in males and 10.6% of all deaths in females each year. Currently, there are over 400,000 Australian’s living with Dementia, with three in 10 people over the age of 85 and almost one in 10 people over 65 having dementia.
Unfortunately, dementia cannot yet be prevented or cured but evidence does show that people can reduce their risk of developing dementia by adopting healthy lifestyles. To lead a brain healthy life, you need to look after your brain, your body and your heart – the earlier the better!
DEMENTIA AUSTRALIA RECOMMENDS THESE 4 TOP TIPS
1. Connect with others
Spending time with people whose company you enjoy and in ways that interest you creates better brain function. Cuppa anyone?
2. Challenge your mind
New activities help to build new brain cells and strengthen connections between them. Let’s aim for one brain boggling activity per day!
3. Food for life
Your brain needs a range of nutrients to function properly. Aim for a healthy, balanced diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and omega 3 proteins such as fish and walnuts. Let’s reduce those party pies!
4. Enjoy being active
Being physically active stimulates your brain and strengthens your heart, which is also associated with better brain function and reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Move, go outside, take up a new activity.
For more information head to www.dementia.org.au