The findings of a survey about dementia are published today as the Minister for Health and Social Services launches a new campaign designed to helped everyone in Wales take simple steps to reduce their risk of developing dementia (external link).
People are being encouraged to act now to reduce their risk as the latest figures show 42,000 people aged 30 or over are currently living with dementia in Wales. The risk of developing dementia increases with age – as more people are living longer, the number of people developing dementia will grow.
Despite almost half of people surveyed (48%) believing there is nothing which can reduce the risk of developing dementia, evidence shows that a healthier lifestyle can reduce the risk by up to 60%. Making simple lifestyle changes, which are also good for the heart and lungs, will be good for the brain too.
The campaign, which will be launched across Wales with forget-me-not flowers projected onto landmark buildings in North and South Wales, encourages people to take six simple steps to reduce the risk of dementia.
The campaign calls on us to ACT NOW:
- Active (physically and socially)
- Check your health regularly
- Try new things
- No to smoking
- Occasional alcohol in moderation
- Watch your weight
Last year, the Welsh Government committed £5.5m a year in extra funding to improve dementia support services in Wales and set new ambitious diagnosis targets. This year an extra £30m will be invested in older people’s mental health, which will include new support for dementia.
One person who has gone some way to change their lifestyle to help improve their health and reduce their dementia risk is 51-year-old Debbie James from Bridgend:
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said: