One of the best doctors in England says that community schemes run by professional football clubs will help people with dementia expand and improve their lives.
Professor Alistair Burns praised clubs including Everton, Aston Villa and Derby County for running activities and workshops for people living with the syndrome.
And it is encouraging more older people to take part in activities such as walking football to keep their brain active.
Professor Burns, who is the national clinical director of dementia and mental health for older people in England, said: “People who feel disconnected from their communities and families after a diagnosis can lead to dementia social isolation. community schemes such as these are vital in helping people to maintain these links and to live a rich and active life. ”
The health service said that Everton FC's Pass on the Memories scheme, delivered in partnership with the Mersey Care NHS Trust, helps around 300 people each year by running sports workshops, bingo and dance sessions.
Meanwhile, the club's Stand Together program aims to tackle social isolation among people over 70 years of age by organizing them to participate in stadium tours and talks on club history.
The England Football League are undertaking a pilot scheme for retired people who meet weekly and socialize at various football clubs.
Adrian Bradley, head of health and well-being for England's Football League said: “We understand that everyone's experience of dementia is unique and so our clubs and charities are helping people to attend games, running groups of activities, dementia cafes, support groups and reminiscence sessions. ”
Some 676,000 people in England are estimated to have dementia, and one in three people are likely to care for someone with a syndrome at some point in their lives, the NHS said.
Professor Burns said: “There are simple lifestyle changes that people can make to reduce the risk of dementia.
“Everyone can help eat a healthy diet and exercise – even gentle exercises like walking football – less to drink, not to smoke, keep up your social networks and ensure that your mind remains active. .
“As the NHS long-term plan builds on measures to provide timely diagnosis of dementia and to improve care, football clubs – as the center of communities and the lives of many people – have an open opportunity to engage with it. improve the NHS and life. ”
Dementia is a syndrome associated with a continued decline in brain function, leading to memory loss, speed of thinking and mental crisis.