Live a healthy life – help prevent Alzheimer’s

Live a healthy life – help prevent Alzheimer’s

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

he 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:

1. 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.

2. Take regular exercise

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.

3. Eat a healthy diet

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.

4. Exercise your memory

Learn a foreign language, play cards, take up an instrument, or learn a poem by heart. Taking up new hobbies keeps your mind active.

5. Meet new people

Social contact also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. Go out, for example, or meet up with other people.

Additional information

More information on dementia can be found on the information platform www.memo-info.ch or on the website of the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH).

For further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on 044 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.