Vascular dementia: Five ways to reduce your risk – and how to care for your brain

VASCULAR dementia can develop for many reasons, some of which can be controlled and some of which cannot. By taking certain steps to care for and keep your brain healthy, you may be able to reduce the risk of developing the brain disease.

Dementia is a disease associated with the ongoing decline of the brain. Vascular dementia is one of the most common types of dementia, along with Alzheimer’s disease.

Around 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, and numbers are increasing.

The Alzheimer’s Society predicts the number of people with dementia will rise to around one million by 2025.

While there’s no way to completely prevent dementia from occurring, there are ways you can help reduce the risk of developing the disease by keeping healthy.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, keeping physically, mentally and socially active will help maintain memory, skills and self-confidence as you age.

Physical health

In order to keep physically healthy, eat regular, balanced meals including five portions of fruit and veg, and try to drink lots of water every day.

Don’t smoke and drink alcohol in moderation.

Try to exercise five days a week, for minutes at a time. This can include brisk walking, swimming, cycling and gardening.

Illustration of brain scan; man with head in hand
There is no real way to prevent dementia, but there are things you can do to help reduce the risk (Image: Getty Images)

Mental health

Keep your brain active by reading, keeping a diary, doing puzzles or quizzes, playing cards or board games.

You could also consider taking up a new hobby to help exercise your mind.

Relax and reduce stress

If you feel stressed, talk to someone about your problems and concerns; they may be able to help.

Try exercises and techniques to help you relax, such as breathing exercises or listening to relaxing music.