Dementia is one of the most common public health issues in Australia. With an increasing percentage of the ageing population and the number of people living with dementia, it has become one of the major concerns these days. Dementia is basically a term used to describe a group of symptoms such as memory loss, lack of social and thinking abilities, issues with reasoning and communication skills. It also reduces the abilities and skills in performing routine activities such as dressing, cooking, washing, etc. According to research, dementia mainly affects older people, but it is not a normal phase of ageing.
The most common types are Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular and Frontotemporal dementia. Alzheimer is one of the primary causes of dementia, especially in older people. However, the progression will differ from person to person, and each will experience this disease differently.
However, the early signs may vary, but there are some common early symptoms such as:
- Finding difficulties in remembering recent activities and events
- Lack of communication skills
- Lack of concentration
- Behaviour and personality changes
- Social inactiveness
Dementia basically damages the nerve cells in the brain and also badly affects several areas of the brain. Its symptoms may be reflected differently relying on the specific areas of the brain affected by dementia. Some dementias also caused due to vitamin deficiencies.
Below are some of the common risk factors that can lead to dementia:
Age: The risk increases as you grow older, especially after 65. However, it is not a normal part of aging as it could occur in younger people also.
Hereditary : Having a family history of dementia can put you at higher risk of developing this condition. However, many individuals with a family history never become a victim of dementia.
Mild Cognitive impairment: This creates issues with memory but without the loss of routine activities.
Unfortunately, there is no absolute way to prevent dementia, but there are some measures you can take to reduce its impact.
Involve in mind activities
Participate in mentally stimulating games such as solving puzzles and playing word games. Spend time reading good books. Memory training might delay the onset of dementia and minimise its effect.
Social interactions and physical activities
Jogging, brisk walking and social interaction might delay the impact of dementia and reduce its symptoms. It is good to exercise half an hour daily and also interact with your friends and family.
Say no to Smoking
According to some studies, smoking in middle age may increase the risk of dementia. So it is good to quit smoking.
Get Vitamin D
People with vitamin D deficiency may also develop dementia. You can get supplements for but remember sunlight is one of the primary sources of vitamin D.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet can reduce the risk of dementia. So change your bad eating habits and include fruits, green vegetables, omega- 3 fatty acids and whole grains in your diet.