An activity a day...
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Recent research suggests that hundreds of thousands of people could avoid developing Alzheimer’s disease by adopting a few simple lifestyle changes. The study by the University of Cambridge has identified seven 'key risk factors' - these are diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, lack of exercise, depression, smoking and poor education.
One in three people over 65 live with dementia so any measures that can be taken to avoid this have got to be worth giving a go. The changes in lifestyle can only be a good thing – with a more active body and mind, an individual can get involved in social, sporting and creative activities. They can make new friends and contribute to their local communities.
By making small changes, not only do we give ourselves a greater chance of avoiding Alzheimer’s but we also take the pressure off already stretched statutory services. Hospitals, social services and GPs surgeries all face challenges when it comes to ensuring that we are kept as healthy as possible but with ever-decreasing budgets they can be helped by some innovative thinking from support providers.
Bromford’s focus on ‘living well’ is the kind of approach that could help many thousands of people to get active, both physically and mentally. For too long the attitude has been that once you reach a certain age you just want to sit in a peach-coloured high-back chair and watch Countdown.There’s nothing wrong with Countdown but, for most people, no matter what their age, there is so much more that they want to be doing.
Community Hubs offer individuals of all ages the opportunity to take part in activities, get together with like-minded people learn new skills. With sporting activities such as Tai Chi, singing classes, quizzes, pet therapy, dementia and healthy lifestyle awareness sessions there is something to keep everyone happy.
Jane Turner, head of continuous improvement at Bromford said, “The purpose of our 'Living Well Centres' is to improve the health of our older customers and catch them before they fall. Health promotion and activity for mental and physical wellbeing will, we hope, not only contribute to early detection of dementia but also tackle some of the causes by improving lifestyles.”
Never mind an apple a day – it’s becoming increasingly obvious that an activity a day may keep the doctor away. That’s something that individuals and professionals alike would certainly welcome and an increased circle of support will no doubt help in this aim.