Healthcare professionals in GP surgeries and the community will soon be giving advice on dementia risk to patients as part of the NHS Health Check.
Adding the dementia element to the NHS Health Check programme will enable healthcare professionals to talk to their patients about how they can reduce their dementia risk, such as by maintaining their social life, keeping mentally and physically active and stopping smoking.
- 52% of adults name dementia as one of their top three health worries
- 28% have no awareness of any of the risks factors and only 2% are aware of all the things they can do to reduce the risk
- As many as one third of dementia cases may be prevented by improved lifestyle choices
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, commented: “Not before time, dementia is being included in NHS Health Checks. We are proud to be part of this project. With three out of four people in midlife saying that they would make lifestyle changes now to reduce their risk of developing dementia in future, this health check will encourage them to do so.
“Dementia is a devastating condition, which slowly strips people of their memories, identities and relationships. It is currently the UK’s biggest killer, affecting 850,000 people and their families.
“In the absence of a cure, risk reduction is a vital tool to fight dementia. Dementia takes hold of the brain decades before symptoms appear, so empowering people to get fit and eat healthier from age 40 is crucial if we’re to reduce the number of people developing the condition.”