A recent study has suggested that healthy lifestyle  choices can lower the risk of dementia, even if it runs in the family.

The study, carried out by the University of Exeter, followed nearly 200,000 people and showed the risk fell by up to a third when participants made simple lifestyle changes to their diet and exercise routines.
It was found that not smoking, limiting alcohol intake to two units a day, cycling for two hours a week and eating a balanced diet could all help to reduce the risk of getting dementia.  The study showed there were 18 cases of dementia per 1,000 people if they were born with high-risk genes and then led an unhealthy lifestyle. That went down to 11 per 1,000 people during the study, if those high-risk people had a healthy lifestyle.

Tim Allen is a registered mental health nurse and works in partnership with Dementia UK to provide the Admiral Nursing service to family members and carers in hospital and in the community.
As a service, we always counsel healthy lifestyle choices with any individuals we come into contact with,” he said. “This includes health promotion, diet and exercise, and the risks of smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

The College of Occupational Therapists has a range of great ideas to help care staff encourage residents to keep active, from helping with cleaning tasks, to armchair exercises and gardening.

Visit www.rcot.co.uk>file>download to download their ‘Living well through activity in care homes’ guide.