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Lorraine Kelly: Active brain and body so vital in tackling dementia

Making sure you exercise can pay off in your older years (iStock)
Making sure you exercise can pay off in your older years (iStock)

DEMENTIA was once the disease that dared not speak its name.

It was a taboo subject and charities struggled to raise funds and awareness.

However, in the past five years attitudes have changed dramatically.

We now know that there are ways to fight the onset of some forms of the disorder.

According to researchers, a third of cases could be prevented simply by using a bit of common sense.

Firstly, don’t smoke. If you do, pack in the habit right now.

Make sure you exercise.

Even going for a brisk walk helps.

Avoid becoming overweight, as it can lead to high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, which increases the chances of developing dementia. Loneliness and depression also play a part, so try to be more sociable and seek help for any mental illness.

Remember, reaching out for treatment is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Hearing loss is another factor which can lead to isolation, so make sure you visit your GP to get checked out.

I’m not sure if the experts would agree with me, but I reckon curiosity is the most vital quality of all.

Learning new things helps keeps your brain active.

The elderly people I know who are as sharp as tacks are blessed with a curiosity for the world around them.

Try to help yourself – not just for your own sake, but for your loved ones.