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Dementia - The Nation's Biggest Fear, UK

May 05, 2017

Britons fear developing dementia more than any other health condition in old age yet many people do not realise that simple lifestyle changes may reduce their risk of developing it, according to a national survey published recently by the Alzheimer's Society.

37 per cent of people fear developing dementia in later life above cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Yet 62 per cent of people thought their lifestyle had no impact on their chance of developing a form of dementia. The survey results coincide with the launch of a new risk reduction campaign 'Be headstrong' launched by Alzheimer's Society today, during Alzheimer's Awareness Week®.

Neil Hunt chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society says,

'Dementia is a devastating disease. It begins with memory problems but gradually robs people of their ability to dress, speak, eat, or do virtually anything for themselves. 1 in 3 older people will end their lives with dementia, so these fears are very real for thousands of people in the UK. The good news is that people can fight their fears by following our 'Be Headstrong' challenge.

'Dementia may be the nation's biggest fear, but it is a fear that not many people talk about. We want people to change their attitude towards dementia, change their lifestyle and donate their spare change to help fight dementia. Together, we can make dementia a thing of the past.'

'Be Headstrong' challenges everyone to make simple changes to their life, the top lifestyle tips are:

-- Don't smoke
-- Eat less saturated fat
-- Exercise regularly
-- Lead an active social life
-- Ask your GP to check your blood pressure and cholesterol

Celebrity astrologer and Alzheimer's Society Ambassador, Russell Grant is among those taking the challenge. Russell says,

'Dementia is more than a vile and vicious disease. It robs people of their identity, spirit and soul like no other does. Seeing how it affected my grandmother broke my heart; that's why I am supporting and taking up the 'Be headstrong' challenge. Some of the challenges are easier than others, I already take part in a busy social life, I don't drink, but now I am going to take serious action to eat the right foods and get more active. Only by realising that this disease is on the rise and tackling it head-on will we be able to see a future where dementia is taken more seriously by Governments and the public alike.'


Over 1,000 people were surveyed for the TNS poll.

Find out more about Alzheimer's Awareness Week® and the Be Headstrong campaign at: challengedementia.

1 in 3 older people will end their lives with a form of dementia.

700,000 people in the UK are affected by dementia, more than half have Alzheimer's disease. In less than 20 years nearly a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051.

The Alzheimer's Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and those who care for them. The Alzheimer's Society works in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

For further information please go to:
Alzheimer's Society