Sep 24
Dementia Awareness Week 2012 - Brain Health: Making The Connections

Australians are being encouraged to make sure they look after their brain health by leading a “brain healthy” lifestyle.

Western NSW Local Health District is supporting this call during Dementia Awareness week commencing with World Alzheimer’s Day on Friday 21 September 2012.

Christine Duffy, Community Clinical Nurse Consultant Dementia, said research suggests there are some simple steps to ensure we lead a ‘brain healthy’ lifestyle.

“Eating well and being physically active, maintaining an active social life and keeping mentally stimulated are some of the best things you can do to try to reduce the risk of developing dementia.

 “Looking after your heart, keeping a healthy blood pressure level and getting regular health checks are all great ways to monitor your brain health,” Ms Duffy said.

Already there are an estimated 95,000 people living with dementia in NSW and as our population ages that number is set to skyrocket another 50% by 2020.  In the Western NSW Local Health District there are more than 3,100 people living with Dementia. This number is expected to soar to 5,367 by 2020 (NSW State Electoral Division Dementia Prevalence Rates 2012-2050).  While there is as yet, no cure; scientific research shows it may be possible to reduce the risk of developing dementia, or delay onset by taking action in your 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

Dementia is a condition that the ageing population is concerned about.  Although not a normal part of ageing, the risk of dementia does increase with age.  As Dementia is mostly a slowly progressive condition most people can have a good quality of life for many years.

If you or someone you know are concerned about memory loss and possible dementia it is recommended that you speak to your local GP, who can then refer to Specialists for face to face consultations; as well as telehealth clinics which are provided through the Western NSW LHD Aged Care Service.

What can you do to take care of your brain and reduce your risk?Go for a walk, run, dance, exercise regularly, visit a friend, have a chat, start a hobby, learn something new and have a healthy diet.

For further information on Dementia and associated symptoms you can contact the Western NSW LHD Aged Care Access Centre on 1800 94 24 33.  Media Contact: Christine Duffy – Community Clinical Nurse Consultant Dementia on 6861 2555.