What goes through your mind when you see that word. Fear, anxiety, dread? Just the word itself is enough to worry many of us! Yet, how is it that so many of us know so little about the 100+ conditions that fall under the umbrella term for dementia. Whether it is caring for a parent or a partner or being fearful for our own health, dementia is forged deep in the psyche of many adults in the UK today.
In amongst the amazing medical research, the stories of real family heartache, accounts of great care being given certain questions still haunt many of us. Does dementia run in my family, what would it mean for me, but most importantly, can I avoid it?
In short there are many risk factors and much is still to be discovered, many pieces of the puzzle to be solved but as yet there is no known means to prevent the onset of dementia or to cure it. However, many of the risk factors can be managed through simple, effective health and wellbeing changes to our everyday life - what we like to call, 'Brain Health'.
So what are these changes we can make, these tactics we can use for good Brain Health? Well, you will be familiar with many of them but simple as they may seem they elude so many of us day to day. Adopting healthy dietary habits, adopting a positive lifestyle, caring for our own wellbeing and proactive life choices may not only help us to 'Say No to Dementia' but also to many other risk factors associated with many other major life changing conditions.
NICE - the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence advises - Sustained ill health in old age is not inevitable. The risk of developing dementia, disability and frailty may be reduced and, for some, onset can be delayed and the severity of the conditions reduced.
# There are health gains that can be made by changing behaviours even in mid‑life.
# The earlier in life that healthy changes are made, the greater the likelihood of reducing the risk of dementia, disability and frailty.
# Smoking, lack of physical activity, alcohol consumption, poor diet, being overweight or obese and loneliness are all avoidable risk factors for dementia, disability and frailty.
# Healthy behaviours are more likely to be maintained if they are built into everyday life.
So what do we hope to achieve through our 'Say No to Dementia' Brain Health project. Well, we know that for many people accessing and engaging with the best health and wellbeing advice can be difficult. Some of us are just too busy, we think it won't apply to us or on occasion we simply don't want to think about topics that cause us anxiety.
For others in from minority communities there can be additional challenges, language, culture, family and traditions all play a huge part in what we think about when we think about dementia.
We are so excited to be part of this Aviva / Crowdfunder initiative. Raising our target amount will pay for our dementia project worker to run a series of FREE 'Say No to Dementia' Brain Health and wellbeing workshops and classes bringing the best and latest in medical, wellbeing and positive living techniques to those who want to take positive action.
Your donation will ensure that people across our communities can face their fears, tackle their anxieties and breakdown the stigma and prejudice that overshadows this subject and learn how to 'Say No to Dementia' and achieve great Brain Health for them, for their parents and for their children.
Help us today and every £1 raised will go directly to support members of the community as they start to make health gains today that will lead to a brighter future.