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Are You Being Proactive on Dementia?

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

"La Boqueria" by vgm8383 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.

By Margaret Mackay

Some people avoid thinking about dementia as they fear a loss of control. Just ignore the topic. But at Age in Spain, we know from our casework that dementia is a major cause of disability and later life dependency among older people.

What can we do?

The good news is that small changes in your diet and lifestyle bring many health benefits. A study in The Lancet (2022) identifies three significant risk factors of dementia: obesity, diabetes and smoking. When these risks are controlled, we can slow down the advance and even prevent the onset of dementia.

A healthier heart protects your brain, improves your quality of life and keeps dementia away (Wade, Smith & Mellow, 2022). Here’s how to follow a better diet and active lifestyle to maintain your independence.

Adopt these five habits

  1. Eat 2-3 servings of oily fish each week

  2. Enjoy vegetables, fruits, pulses, nuts and olive oil of a Mediterranean diet

  3. Eat less processed food

  4. Get physical and make it fun

  5. Quit smoking

It’s never too late to be proactive! Recent studies show that 40% of dementia cases can be prevented by a healthier diet, more exercise and no smoking. Medical experts warn of dementia cases tripling across the world by 2050, if the risk factors are ignored. To read more, click on link to The Conversation 24 January 2022

Margaret Mackay is a trustee of Age in Spain and volunteers with our Friendline Service.

She lives in Madrid.


Before you go: can you support our Friendline Service ?

Margaret is one of our thirty Friendline volunteers who make a regular weekly call to an older person. This way we help isolated older people to develop new Friendships and the opportunity to share their experiences and memories.

Our Friendline service provides a regular weekly call to help people who feel alone, including people with early stage dementia and carers.

To make this happen - we need your help.

Your regular donation of just €10 per month will enable us to provide a weekly friendship call to an isolated older person, every week of the year.

Your one off donation of €50 will enable us to make a home visit to a vulnerable person who is struggling to access vital services and needs hands on help when telephone and email support are just not enough.

Please help.

Thank you.


Disclaimer: The content displayed on this blog is the intellectual property of Age in Spain. You may not reuse, republish, or reprint such content without our written consent. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information on this blog, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this blog has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors. We reserve the right to change this policy at any given time, of which you will be promptly updated. If you want to make sure that you are up to date with the latest changes, we advise you to frequently visit our website disclaimer notice.

Age in Spain provides information about service providers for information only. This list is not exhaustive, and is subject to change at any time. None of the service providers are endorsed or recommended by Age in Spain. You should research whether a service provider will be suitable. Age in Spain does not accept any liability arising to any person for any loss or damage suffered through using these service providers or this information.

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