Good news about dementia

New studies are offering hope for one of the main concerns about growing older, with a recent report showing that dementia rates are on the decline.

Dementia refers to many conditions that impair thinking, behaviour, and mental functioning. These include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Vascular Dementia (caused by inadequate blood flow to the brain), and other illnesses. Dementia can affect anybody, though it is more common in people aged over 65.

The early signs are often subtle; they consist of progressive memory loss, confusion, apathy, and changes in personality, thus making daily life a challenge for both the sufferer and their loved ones.

However, a new analysis from Framingham Heart Study brings some good news, showing that dementia rates have decreased by 44% since the late 1970s. Also, the average age of diagnosis has risen from 80 years old in the 1970s, to 85 in the most recent report.

These studies continue to confirm that there may be modifiable lifestyle factors to lower the risk for dementia. Simple things like increasing physical activity, maintaining a heart-healthy diet, enjoying social stimulation, and remaining cognitively engaged could all aid in protecting the brain as we age.

There may not yet a cure, but these studies offer cautious hope that keeping the brain active and growing may prevent or delay some cases of dementia. Support is essential for people with dementia, and Home Nursing Group is here to make a positive difference as we look optimistically into the future.

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