My grandfather loved fish and chips. He was British so maybe that is not surprising. He lived to be over 90 years of age, and had dementia for the last part of his life.
Dementia is a chronic disease. The latest report from Alzheimer's Australia indicates that now, in 2017, it is estimated that 244 people are diagnosed with dementia in Australia each day. In the next 40 years it is estimated that 6,564,428 Australians will be diagnosed with dementia (In case you are not great with numbers, that is 6.5Million fellow Australians). Some people get dementia when they are young, but for most people it is a diagnosis made after the age of 65. While we don't have a cure for Dementia, we now know that there are some risk reduction strategies that you can put in place to minimize your risk of dementia when you are older. If we can reduce the rate of people being diagnosed at 65 and above by 5% by the year 2056 , then that will translate into a 24% reduction in the actual number of people with dementia.
This may sound complicated. The most important thing to remember is that if you are 25 now, and you start working on your risk reduction strategies, then in 2056 you will have reduced your risk of getting a diagnosis of dementia and you will be a part of the community effort towards reducing the incidence of dementia in Australia. But it needs action now, for the effects to be felt across the next 40 years. It doesn't matter whether you are 20, 30, 40 or 50; making a lifestyle change may still make a difference. Not all dementia is preventable, but there are things we can do to reduce our risk of dementia. See my blog post on dementia risk reduction activities to get some suggestions.
Today I wanted to focus on getting together with your buddies to work on your nutrition. A healthy diet is a key part of the dementia risk reduction strategy. It has been identified that if you want to change something in your life, you will be more successful if you link up with two of your favourite buddies. These two friends or colleagues can support you as you reach a common goal. My recommendation: two is not enough, it's the number three that makes all the difference (because when someone is feeling down, two people are there to encourage, and the chance of all three being down at the same time is rare). Success in numbers.
I've tried lots of different weightloss strategies and programs. Some have not worked and some have worked for a little while. If you want to know what I'm doing now, check out my post about saving time. Meeting your goals is not just about getting the right plan, it's about having some support around you as you follow-through on your plan. So make sure whatever you decide to do, don't do it alone.
So I'm wondering - is anybody out there?
It would be great for you to join the conversation about targeting risk reduction for dementia now, so that we can make a difference later, in 2056. Write a comment, share this page, and let's work together to spread the word. But if you are also looking for support in your nutritional goals, then get a group of 3 together and work out a way forward. If you want to join the people I hang out with to work towards a healthier you, then let me know. Let's stick together and change history.
Team up with friends
This is a photo of my friend Deborah and I. We ran into each other while on our separate walks one day. I was in town on holidays, and I was walking alone. But it is Deborah's home town and she was walking with a buddie (the one who took this fabulous photo). To stay committed, find people who are also interested in the same goals as you, and get started.