Jane Nickels, MacIntyre's Learning Disabilities Admiral Nurse, shares her latest blog post detailing her top tips for promoting good brain health, which is key for preventing dementia.
October always makes me think of Halloween!
Halloween has looked very different for some people this year, but I noticed that teams within MacIntyre have been putting on some amazing events for people supported to celebrate at home.
This month for me has meant planning for bespoke training around early warning signs (https://www.macintyrecharity.org/our-expertise/resources/signs-and-symptoms-of-dementia-wellbeing-for-life/) that somebody may be experiencing dementia and looking at how to support a timely diagnosis. It’s particularly difficult at the moment to get support from primary healthcare services, as they are having to deal with strains and extra pressures of the pandemic. A lot of dementia screening is currently being conducted virtually, which can lead to misdiagnosis or no diagnosis at all.
I was lucky enough to attend the Brace dementia event and listen to Beth Britton reflect on her father’s experience of dementia. Emotional to listen to, but such great information shared, which I’m sure will be of benefit to families struggling at this particularly difficult time.
Our Milton Keynes team ran their first virtual MacIntyre Memory Café this month, which was a great success. This will be continuing in the months to come until they can all safely meet face to face again.
As promised in my previous blog, this month I’m going to look at tips for prevention of developing dementia. I do have to acknowledge at this point that sometimes genetics play a part, but on the whole there are lots of things we can do to promote good brain health!
- Stick to the recommended NHS guidelines for alcohol intake https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/new-alcohol-advice-issued/
- Stay active - both physically and mentally https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/
- Look after your health in general. If you have conditions such as, high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, follow a healthy diet and take your medication
- Don’t smoke and if you do smoke, try to give up! https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/
- Eat well and try to stay within a healthy weight range https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/
- Keep in touch with family and friends, but if you’re on your own consider joining online groups - remaining social keeps your brain active. https://alison.com/course/guide-to-zoom-video-conferencing
- Have a hobby or try something new https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/online/hobbies--events/
- Make sure you get enough sleep 7 to 8 hours is recommended for most adults https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/