We've already made some changes that the doctor suggested. Getting more exercise has been one of the biggest differences. But what other things can I do to delay this?
Professor Susan Kurrle
Once you've got a diagnosis of dementia, it's really important to manage other illnesses that you might have as well as possible because that means your dementia is likely to progress more slowly.
And you're likely to remain more healthy. So medication is an important part of that and ensuring the medication you take is necessary and does not have any side effects is something your GP and your pharmacist can do.
What's good for the heart is good for the brain. So reducing blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, eating a good diet, exercising, and stopping smoking all make a big difference. In dementia, you often see a decrease in appetite.
This is usually related to loss of the sense of taste and loss of the sense of smell and also people simply forget to eat or no longer know how to prepare a sandwich or make a cup of coffee. So eating properly is really important and sometimes prepared meals are a good way to deal with this.
It's also important to remember to keep well-hydrated and drinking plenty of water is a good way to do this. And certainly, doing mental exercises such as crosswords, Sudoku, various computer games, are all good for the brain.
Staying involved in your community, staying involved with your family, continuing to work, even on a part-time basis or as a volunteer, these are all very effective in reducing the risk of dementia.
Last reviewed: January 2016