Clinical update

Dementia and frailty

Dementia encompasses many, usually progressive, brain disorders that lead to a loss of brain function.

Essential facts

Dementia encompasses many, usually progressive, brain disorders that lead to a loss of brain function. There are around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and this is expected to rise to more than one million by 2025. One in six people aged over 80 has dementia. Frailty is a state of increased vulnerability, according to the British Geriatrics Society (BGS). It results from ageing associated with a decrease in the body’s physical and psychological reserves, and leaves people at risk of rapid decline in physical and mental wellbeing.

Picture credit: iStock

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says people should be encouraged to stop smoking, be more physically active, reduce alcohol consumption and adopt a healthy diet to help lower the risk of developing dementia, disability and frailty in later life. Physical decline is not an inevitable part of ageing

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