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Recognising dementia risk factors

View profile for Ben Parmenter
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I saw in the news today that a study by Alzheimer’s Research UK found that half of UK adults cannot identify any of the key risk factors for dementia.

This is a worrying statistic. With more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, it’s likely we will all experience its effects at some point during our lives, so we should be doing all we can to reduce its impact.

The key risk factors are identified as heavy drinking, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, depression, and genetics. As you can see, a third of these factors are potentially within an individual’s control, but only 34% of the people the Alzheimer’s Society surveyed believed it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia. The truth is, dementia is not an inevitable part of aging – there are proactive things you can do to protect against it, such as physical exercise.

It’s really important that we learn more about dementia, its risks and its protective factors. As a Dementia Friend and Dementia Champion I am pleased to be able to make more people aware of what dementia is. I have a relative who has dementia, and it’s not easy to watch that deterioration and it’s even worse when we don’t really understand what’s happening to our loved one.

In my professional experience people can lead a long and productive life even after a diagnosis of dementia, and it’s really important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible.

At Birkett Long, we can prepare wills and powers of attorney for people with dementia. That is to say, we are able to take instructions from people with dementia. Sometimes we may need to get a doctor’s report, but more often than not, if people are in early stages of dementia or it is progressing very slowly, we are able to take and fulfil their full instructions.

If you would like to talk to me about making a will or drawing up a lasting power of attorney, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217611 or ben.parmenter@birkettlong.co.uk.

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