Dementia is one of the most dangerous conditions affecting millions of people worldwide. Dementia has no cure and is a chronic, progressively debilitating illness which can cause disability and dependency among those affected which can not hamper not only their life but also the lives of their family and caregivers. In dementia, there is deterioration in cognitive functions which has a detrimental impact on memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement. Several researchers across the world are involved in finding effective treatment options and a cure for dementia. Some studies have been able to find certain common risk factors of dementia and have provided leads about what one can do to reduce the risk of dementia. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 50 million people around the world have dementia and every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has quoted as saying that in the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple. Considering the devastating effects of the disease and the increasing incidences, these measures are being discussed and more and more awareness is being spread about them. The WHO has now come up with a set of new guidelines for reducing the risk of dementia. Here are some things you can immediately start doing:
- Getting regular exercise
- Not smoking
- Avoiding harmful use of alcohol
- Controlling weight
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels
Dr Dévora Kestel, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO said in a news release that it was important for dementia carers and family members to get the necessary support for caring for their dementia patient. For this purpose, WHO has created iSupport, an online training programme that helps provide carers of people with dementia with advice on the overall management of care, dealing with behaviour changes and how to look after their own health.