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Dementia

Reducing the risk of dementia

Leading a healthy lifestyle can keep you feeling well and reduce your risk of developing dementia when you get older. It can also prevent cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke or heart attacks.

You can find out what you can do to reduce your risk of dementia on the NHS Choices website.

 

Reducing the risk of memory loss

Everyone's memory is different. Sometimes you can't quite put a name to someone's face. You forget where you've put your keys. It happens to everyone from time to time. Often such lapses are because you are tired, under stress or simply have too much to do.

There is no such thing as a normal memory. You cannot compare your memory with that of other people. Children have the best memories, while the rest of us have to work harder to remember things. It is normal to get a bit more forgetful with age. 

All kinds of things can affect your memory:

  • Stress or anxiety (worrying about your memory can make it worse)
  • Having too many things on your mind
  • Illness and infection
  • Unhappiness and depression, including bereavement
  • Lack of sleep
  • The side effects of some medicines such as sleeping pills, sedatives and some other drugs
  • Overuse of alcohol
  • The menopause 

You can reduce your risk of memory problems by living a healthy lifestyle. By keeping your body healthy, especially your heart, you can help to keep your brain healthy too.

Try to:

  • Eat healthily
  • Get active or increase your activity levels
  • Watch your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Give up smoking
  • Reduce alcohol consumption 

Talk to your doctor if your forgetfulness, or that of someone you know, is getting worse or is beginning to interfere with everyday life.

Symptoms might be:

  • Finding it hard to follow conversations or programmes on television
  • Mood changes, depression and emotional upsets
  • Difficulty planning and completing simple tasks, for example making a meal
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Becoming easily distracted
  • Feeling confused even in familiar surroundings 

Why continue to worry? It may be something that's easy to resolve.

You can phone Somerset Alzheimer's Society on 01458 251541 for friendly advice. 

Visit the Dementia Somerset website for more information about memory loss, including local services for people with dementia.