Dementia and physical activity #physiotalk 21st Sep

Lets talk about Dementia!

Our next #physiotalk tweet chat on Monday 21st September at 8pm BST will focus on physiotherapy, dementia risk and exercise for those living with dementia. Its not the first time we have chatted about dementia, but since the last one was six years ago, it seemed like a good time to revisit the topic. This is especially apt as September is World Alzheimers Month and today is World Alzheimers day.

Dementia is a collective name for progressive degenerative brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are the most common types of dementia, responsible for up to 90% of cases of dementia.
Symptoms may include:
• loss of memory
• difficulty in finding the right words or understanding what people are saying
• difficulty in performing previously routine tasks
• personality and mood changes

Dementia knows no social, economic or geographical boundaries. Every 3 seconds, someone in the world develops dementia. The number of people living with dementia around the world is over 50 million, which is expected to almost double every 20 years, reaching 152 million by 2050. The annual global cost of dementia is over $US one trillion annually, which will double by 2030.

But there is evidence to suggest that being active is really important in reducing your risk of dementia. Of all the lifestyle changes that have been studied, taking regular physical exercise appears to be one of the best things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting dementia.

So physiotherapists are really well placed to promote a public health message to those who are young, old and in-between of the benefits of exercise on your cognitive abilities.

Questions to consider

Do you think about dementia risk when you are promoting physical activity?

Is reducing the risk of dementia a key factor in your promotion of physical activity in

  • the young
  • the middle aged
  • older people?

Do we do enough as a profession to promote physical activity in those living with dementia?

What are the best strategies to encourage physical activity in those with dementia

How do we risk assess the benefits of physical activity against the risk of injury in older people living with dementia

How do we support physical activity in this group with local centres closed due to COVID19 restrictions.

Resources

Physical exercise and dementia

World Alzheimers month resources

Resources shared during the tweetchat

Dementia friendly exercises for strength and flexibility

Dementia friendly exercises for strength and balance

Dementia friendly sport and physical activity guide

What is risk enablement?

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