Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms and behaviours that occur when the brain stops working properly. This results in loss of independent function for that person.
Daily brain exercises may help decrease your risk of developing dementia by building cognitive reserve.
This page will help you to find local services in relation to dementia quickly and efficiently.
If you are living with dementia, this section offers some practical advice on living your life to the full.
Within communities people are taking action, big and small steps that make a difference in the everyday lives of people with dementia. Find out what actions you can take and the supports available.
Businesses or service providers can make a big difference to the quality of life of people with dementia and their families. Find out what actions you can take and the supports available.
A community champion inspires others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia and their families. Find out how you can become a community champion and the supports available.
How to diminish the risk factors and reduce the risk of developing dementia.
The brain is the most powerful and most complex object ever made. Looking after it promotes brain health and may lessen our chances of developing dementia.
Although we can’t prevent all types of dementia, we may be able to decrease the risk of dementia. There is growing evidence that leading a healthy active lifestyle may help maintain your brain health. These simple everyday steps can also help those with dementia to live well with the condition.
Keep your brain active in a way you enjoy. Do a crossword or puzzle. Remember your shopping list instead of writing it down. Be curious and take an interest in people. Learn something new or take up a new hobby.
Keep yourself moving – but don’t push it too hard, you don’t need to run a marathon. Aim for half an hour of exercise five days a week and your brain will thank you for it.
How healthy is your diet? A balanced diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, dairy, lean meats, poultry and fish is a good starting point. Keep an eye on how much alcohol you drink, and stay well within thelow-risk guidelines. Drinking more than just a couple of units a day is a serious risk factor.
Get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked every six months or so. A healthy blood pressure level is good for your heart and your brain.
It’s not easy but it can be done and it really will lower your risk. The HSE’s QUIT Team can double your chances of quitting, give them a ring on 1800 201 203 or text them for free on 50100.
Connecting with people helps to grow new connections in your brain and socialising is good for your well-being too. Meet friends and family for a cuppa or other activities that you enjoy doing together. You could join a club, visit your local museum or get involved in volunteering in your community.
Hearing loss is now considered to be an important risk factor for the development of dementia. However, we do not know yet whether interventions, such as hearing aids, can reduce a person’s risk. Hearing aids may be of benefit but further studies are needed.
People with Down’s syndrome are at an increased risk of dementia. It is estimated that one in three people with Down’s syndrome in their 50s and close to two in three people with Down’s syndrome aged over 60 will develop dementia. However, although most people with Down’s syndrome will experience brain changes as they age, not everyone will develop dementia.
Research has shown that diabetes can increase the risk of developing both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. This is thought to be due to mechanisms behind diabetes development that can damage small blood vessels in the brain, which is likely to contribute towards vascular dementia. It is also thought that diabetes-related blood vessel damage could lead to a reduced blood flow to the brain, which may be a factor in Alzheimer's disease development. Living a healthy lifestyle that promotes cardiovascular health will help to both managing diabetes and benefit your brain.