People in Switzerland are becoming older and older. Taken by itself, this is a gratifying trend. However, the down side is that the number of people who suffer from age-related illnesses is rising. Dementia is one of these illnesses, and Alzheimer's is its best known and most common form. People who suffer from this illness gradually find it harder and harder to think, speak, remember, know where they are and perceive their surroundings. There are currently around 148,000 people suffering from dementia in Switzerland – and the number is rising.
Dementia barometer 2018
The dementia barometer published by the University of Zurich in March 2019 shows that the Swiss population is well informed about dementia, its symptoms and the prevention measures. Around 66% of all respondents also believe that dementia can be prevented.
The Swiss Alzheimer’s Society and the Pro Senectute association have identified five things you can do to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease:
Look after your heart
It’s important to keep your heart fit. You can do this by keeping a close eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol level. You should stop smoking. It weakens the heart and increases the risk of Alzheimer's.
Take regular exercise
The second tip: Exercise as much as possible and take up a sport. This has a positive impact on blood pressure and reduces the risk of diabetes. Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and cholesterol all have a negative impact on the blood vessels and are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
Eat a healthy diet
Third: Watch what you eat. Experts recommend a balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, unsaturated fatty acids (rapeseed or olive oil), fish, carbohydrates from pasta, wholemeal bread and rice. They advise against too much sugar, salt, ready meals, red meat and saturated fatty acids.
Exercise your memory
Fourth: Learn a foreign language, play cards, take up an instrument, or learn a poem by heart. Taking up new hobbies keeps your mind active.
Meet new people
The fifth and final tip: Social contact also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. Go out, for example, or meet up with other people.