My determination to reduce my dementia risk grew out of my personal story.
I spent 12 years caring for my mum, who had severe dementia. When she was diagnosed, I was 36 years old with a toddler, new born and a full-time job. My world was turned upside down – not only was I mum, wife, boss, I was now a carer too. What made this even harder to bear was that, as a teenager, I’d watched my mum going through the same thing with her mother. Now, I have two teenage daughters myself and I do everything I can to reduce the chance that they will have to look after me.
I started researching everything I could about ageing well. I read a PhD paper, claiming that a healthy lifestyle at 50 reduces the risk of dementia, by up to 90%. This research is controversial – that’s a huge reduction – but at the time it felt like the sun bursting through some very dark clouds. Most importantly, it gave me a sense of purpose: an idea that I could change the way I age.
So I spent years studying scientific data on healthy ageing, Qualifying as a health coach and overhauling my own health. And guess what? I’ve found that as I’ve worked to do all I can to prevent dementia, I feel better than ever right now. And I want to share that with you.