Early dementia may not be obvious but there are symptoms one should look out for. Memory loss, disorientation, misplacing things, a change in mood and behaviour and difficulty in performing familiar tasks are all signs of dementia. There are ways to help prevent dementia or to make symptoms less difficult to manage. The NHS said: “There’s no certain way to prevent all types of dementia, researchers are still investigating how the disease develops.
“However, there is good evidence that a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing dementia when you’re older.
“It can also help prevent against stroke and heart attacks, which are themselves risk factors for Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.”
One of the key ways to prevent dementia developing is to overhaul the diet. Eating a healthy diet will reduce the risk of developing dementia.
This includes eating five portions of fruit and veg a day, eating fish twice a week, and avoiding sugar and hidden salt.
Drinking too much alcohol could increase the risk of developing dementia. If drinking is too difficult to cut out completely, try low-alcohol drinks, setting a limit and trying to alternate between alcoholic drinks and water.
Other ways to help reduce the risk:
Take control of your health
Once people hit mid-life so the risk factors for dementia increase and as such it’s an important time to take care of one’s health. Going for regular check-ups with your GP is advisable, even if there are no health concerns.
Getting regular check-ups will help with any potential problems and is an opportunity to discuss with your doctor any health concerns such as depression, hearing loss or not getting enough sleep. Your GP will advise the best treatment for you if needs be.
Exercise your mind
Challenging and exercising the mind could help prevent against memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
There are number of studies that show the benefits of staying mentally active as active minds have sharp thinking skills and less prone to forgetfulness.
Studying, learning a new language, puzzles and crosswords, playing board games, reading and writing are all ways to improve the brain’s function and reduce the risk of dementia.
For those suffering from dementia, the experience can be frustrating and people around them need to act with care.
Professor June Andrews, dementia expert at Dementia Trust UK said: “To avoid creating those emotions for a person with dementia, don’t ask questions if you can avoid it. Don’t correct things that don’t matter.
“Do everything in your power to avoid bringing to the attention of the person with dementia that they are failing a mental challenge, as this only makes their life harder that it needs to be.”
Professor Andrews said: “It’s not surprising that people avoid seeking a diagnosis for dementia but that delay can stop them from making preparations and accessing care while time runs out.”
The NHS offers a free check-up for overall health for people aged 40 to 74. They said: “NHS Health Check can help spot early signs and tell if you’r at higher risk of certain health problems that can also increase your risk of dementia. If you haven’t been invited for a NHS Health Check, ask your GP.”