September is Dementia Awareness Month

September is Dementia Month and it affects more than 353,000 Australians, with around 25,000 Alzheimer’s disease sufferers under 65.

The youngest is 30.



Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are the two major causes of Dementia.  It affects one in 10 people over 65 and one in three in the 85-year old group.

Tips for lowering your risk for Alzheimer’s disease is to:

Exercise regularly

150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week is fantastic for lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.  It improves circulation of blood flow around your body and brain, lowers blood pressure and improves weight.

Aim for the 10,000 steps a day average over the week

Exercise also benefits people with Alzheimer’s.  Research suggests it improves cognitive skills and ability to get out of a chair.

Don’t’ smoke

Smoking reduces oxygen in the blood that leads to all your vital organs.

Maintain a healthy weight

Studies have shown that elderly people who had harden arteries and high blood pressure had a higher chance of having changes in the brain that are associated to Alzheimer’s.

High Blood Pressure reduces with a low sodium diet and plenty of fruit and vegetables.  Fruit and vegetables are high in potassium which lower blood pressure.

Diabetes is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.  Brains with Alzheimer’s disease are normally Insulin Resistant.  Having Insulin Resistance is common in Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Disease.    Metabolic Disease is elevated blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and elevated blood glucose levels.  A weight loss of 5 – 10% of your current weight is sufficient to improve insulin function and lower blood glucose levels.

Follow a healthy diet

  • Lots of fruit and vegetables. These aid in blood pressure reduction, lowering blood glucose levels and assist in weight reduction
  • Include Omega – 3. The best source is from oily fish naturally not capsules.  Aim for salmon, tuna, sardines, trout or yellow belly 3 times a week.
  • Unsaturated fat such as olive oil, nuts and seed have been found to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by half. Coconut oil and butter are saturated fats which increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration and dementia.  A study showed that saturated fat doubled your risk of dementia.   Tran’s fatty acids which are in commercial biscuits and pastry cause your brain to become less permeable.  This triggers inflammation and block’s signals in the brain.
  • Fibre 30 g a day. Lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Keep alcohol intake low. Two standard drinks a day is the recommend intake.  Aim for two alcohol free days a week.

Dementia Awareness Month runs from 1 September to 30 September every year.

The purpose of Dementia Awareness Month is to encourage Australians to become dementia-aware, have a better understanding of what it is like for a person to live with dementia, and ultimately be encouraged to create communities where people with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value.

The theme for 2016 is “You are not alone” and the main activities will be a series of seminars with international and local dementia experts and key note speakers. Our international presenter this year is Dr Ron Peterson director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, both of which involve the study and characterisation of aging individuals over time with an emphasis on neuroimaging and biomarkers. The events are listed below or available on the Dementia Awareness Month 2016 Calendar


For individual advice on healthy eating for reducing your risk of Dementia make an appointment with Polly Antees at North West Nutrition. Polly is an APD Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist.

Pollyemma Antees

Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)

BHlthSc(Nuti&Diet),QUT and studying Grad Cert in diabetes and Management complete end of 2016.
Phone: 0417765593

Fax: 02 67522243


Address: Linden Arcade Shop8/95 Balo St, Moree NSW 2400
Postal Address: PO Box 86 Moree NSW 2400

ABN: 14974207478

Member of the DAA, ADEA, Coeliac Society, Diabetes Australia, SARRAH, and IAHA