Staying physically active is an important part of reducing your risk.

Here’s what you need to know about dementia, and ways to reduce your risk

Research indicates there are things we can do to reduce the risk of developing dementia

According to Alzheimer’s Disease International’s survey on attitudes toward dementia – which surveyed almost 70,000 people in 155 countries, including Canada – almost 80 per cent of people are concerned about developing dementia, while one in four people think there’s nothing we can do to prevent it.

Closer to home, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. wants people to learn more about dementia – and if you are affected by it, the Society wants you to know you’re not alone.

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a specific disease but is a set of progressive symptoms – including memory loss and difficulties with thinking – that may be caused by a number of different brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and others. Learn more about dementia more in this series of short videos.

Can dementia be prevented?

Dementia is a progressive, terminal disease – for which there’s currently no cure. However, research indicates that there are things we can do to reduce our risk. It’s never too soon or too late to learn about brain health and make lifestyle changes!

  • Be physically active. Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, all associated with an increased risk of dementia.
  • Challenge yourself. Keeping your brain active can help reduce your risk of dementia.
  • Be socially active. Staying connected socially helps you stay connected mentally. Social activity also helps people living with dementia to continue to engage and feel fulfilled.
  • Eat well. Healthy dietary choices not only improve your general health; in the long-term, nutritious food helps maintain brain function and slows memory decline.
  • Reduce stress. Experiencing some stress is part of everyday life, but when it persists over time, it can cause vascular changes and chemical imbalances that are damaging to the brain.
  • Protect your head. Past head traumas appear to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Volunteer. You may want to give back to your community, aspire to develop a new skill or expand your social network. Volunteering has health benefits, too: engaging your mind and body can help you age well and reduce the risk of dementia.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. can help

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Alzheimer Society

of B.C.’s suite of programs and services, available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.

People who are connected to First Link® dementia support can access:

  • Individual support: Ongoing support calls to help understand dementia, identify changing needs and plan for the future.
  • Dementia education: In-person and online education on a variety of topics throughout the progression of the disease.
  • Support groups: Information and discussion groups for people in the early stages of dementia and for caregivers.
  • Minds in Motion®: A social and fitness program for people in the early stages of dementia to attend with a care partner.
  • Information: Access to brochures, fact sheets, videos and newsletters.

Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline, available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: 1-800-936-6033 (English), 1-833-674-5007 (Cantonese & Mandarin) or 1-833-674-5003 (Punjabi).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Support groups are an opportunity to share your experiences with others and help each other face the challenges presented by dementia.

Dementia affects not only the person living with the diagnosis, but their family, friends and care partners.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Central Okanagan residents invited to give input on regional transport plan

The plan will help Central Okanagan governments work together to connect people and places across the region

Okanagan set for thunderstorms before sunny weekend

Thunderstorms are predicted to give way to a hot, sunny weekend around Kelowna

Body of 21-year-old man found in Okanagan Lake

BC Coroners Service is investigting the circumstances of the man’s death

UBC Okanagan caps digital fees per course amid COVID-19

The UBCO student senate capped fees at $65 per class for the first winter term in 2020

Kelowna RCMP discover more imitation firearms used in crimes

RCMP say the fake guns can be hard to distinguish from the real ones

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

Democracy costs Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen more than $500,000

Remuneration and expenses paid to chair, directors and alternate directors comes to $542,588

Workplace design: Are you grown up enough to work from home?

Columnist Jules Galloway is the founder/owner of Evolve Design| Build

Dyer: Replacing dam and solar power

Research indicates Canada could replace 100% of power from dams with solar, using only 13% of the land

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

Kootnekoff: CEWS expanded and extended

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Police investigate North Okanagan truck fire

‘At this time, investigators are treating the fire as suspicious,’ says Cpl. Tania Finn

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Most Read