October 10, 2019

People can reduce their risk of developing dementia by exercising, becoming more active and making other healthy lifestyle changes.

This is according to an updated quality standard from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), published on 28 June.The new standard, which covers the prevention of dementia and the assessment, management and support of people living with the condition, says people can reduce the risk of developing some types of dementia by making lifestyle changes such as

  • being more physically active
  • reducing alcohol consumption
  • not smoking
  • improving diet
  • not being overweight or obese

NICE also states that health professionals, such as physiotherapists, should be aware of the lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of developing dementia and be able to offer advice to people about reducing this risk.

Laura Cook, East region chair of Agile, the CSP’s professional network for physiotherapists working with older people, told Frontline: ‘Physios play an important role in supporting people to age well. Lifestyle changes we would recommend to prevent a stroke or heart attack can also help to prevent dementia

‘One easy message to promote is; what’s good for your heart is good for your head.’