Posted on July 16, 2014

Calls for the middle-aged to get dementia advice from GPs

NICE has issued recommendations that GPs should be giving advice to middle-aged patients on how to prevent dementia and disability. The draft public health guidance states that GPs should be encouraging patients to stop smoking, reduce alcohol consumption and eat healthily, with the aim being to delay or prevent dementia, frailty and disabilities later in life. It says that this advice should be part of the NHS Health Checks programme and recommends that the advice given is tailored for different age groups. The draft document also calls upon the government to do more to raise awareness of the condition. Poor sleep, for example, is a potential risk factor for both disability and dementia; therefore, people should be encouraged to consult their GP about this. Poor-quality sleep has been linked to cognitive decline and a reduction in quality of life. The document also calls on the government to take a tougher stance on issues such as taxation on tobacco products and smoke-free policies. It also calls for more restrictions on the licensing of alcohol and action to be taken on the amount of fat and salt in food. The director of the centre for public health at NICE, Professor Mike Kelly, stated that the new draft guideline has been aimed at helping to prevent or delay dementia and other conditions by making changes to lifestyle mid-life. This may help to reduce the dependency upon domiciliary home care and dementia care services later on.
National Framework Supplier