Challenge your risk of dementia

PUBLISHED: 12:24 05 July 2007 | UPDATED: 22:54 28 May 2010

Be head strong

Be head strong

BE head strong – challenge your risk of dementia, it s the message for Alzheimer s Awareness Week and one which a Fenland woman hopes to put into practice. Exercising your mind as well as your body, eating brain food and being sociable are thought to be

BE head strong - challenge your risk of dementia, it's the message for Alzheimer's Awareness Week and one which a Fenland woman hopes to put into practice.

Exercising your mind as well as your body, eating 'brain food' and being sociable are thought to be effective in reducing the risk of developing dementia.

Janet Feary of The Fenland and Marshland Branch of the Alzheimer's Society believes weekly classes focusing on gentle exercise and healthy eating tips would be great for Fenland's pensioners.

More than 1,000 people living in Fenland have dementia and hundreds more are affected by the consequences. Dementia is one of the main causes of disability in later life, ahead of some forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

While the Fenland branch of the Alzheimers Society has thriving carers support groups, educational programmes, a social group for people with dementia, and a befriending scheme, Janet also wants to include all those who want to challenge the risk.

She said: "I would like to get something going locally to reach a wider group of people. It would be good to have lifestyle sessions with gentle exercise for the elderly and tips on nutrition. It has been shown that eating some foods helps the brain."

Janet would like to hear from anyone who thinks they could help with organising some regular sessions. She is looking for a suitable venue, a suitably qualified person who would be willing to take the sessions, and ideas on financing such a venture.

If you think you could help in anyway contact Janet Tel 01354 656611.

Key facts about lowering your risk

# Most research in the last 20 years has shown you should be active for 30 minutes five or more times a week.

# Stopping smoking can improve your health.

# Fish oils help to keep the heart and blood vessels healthy, which in turn helps to prevent changes to the brain.

# Fresh fruit and vegetables contain anti-oxidants and vitamins A and C, which have an important role in preventing heart disease, lessening the risk of vascular dementia and promoting good health generally.

# Studies have shown that people who have cholesterol levels above 6.5 in middle life increase their risk of Alzheimer's disease in later life by at least 2.5 times. Your total blood cholesterol level should be less then 5.0

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