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Overview

NHS Health
Check Programme
Introducing the
Dementia Component

Increasing Awareness
& Signposting

E-learning resource
for practitioners

This e-learning package will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and must
be completed in one session
.

The training consists of the following 5 modules, please click introduction to begin.

What you need to know to deliver the intervention

This section will cover: Introducing the leaflet & Information to be delivered to attendees

This section will cover: Introducing the leaflet & Information to be delivered to attendees
Complete

Delivering the intervention in practice

This section will cover: Role play video & key messages for practice

This section will cover: Role play video & Key messages for practice
Complete

How to deal with challenging questions

This section will cover: Commonly asked questions

This section will cover: Commonly asked questions
Complete

Multiple choice self-assessment

Short self-assessment consisting of multi-choice questions

Short self-assessment consisting of multi-choice questions
Complete

This e-learning was last updated in January 2018, it will be regularly reviewed by a small working group and revised as required.

Introduction

Why is dementia a priority?

Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia

Page 1 of 2

Introduction of dementia in the NHS Health Check

What: Everyone who has an NHS Health Check should be made aware that the risk factors for cardiovascular disease are the same as those for dementia. Local authorities have a legal duty to ensure that those aged 65-74 should be made aware of the signs and symptoms of dementia and signposted to memory services if this is appropriate.

Why: The inclusion of dementia within the NHS Health Check programme is a wider part of the Prime Minister's challenge on dementia.

How: Raising awareness of dementia in the NHS Health Check will require NHS Health Check practitioners to give attendees information about dementia, risk factors, risk reduction and information about local services.

Page 2 of 2

Risk factors of dementia

Up to 30% of dementia is preventable through the same modifiable risk factors as for cardiovascular disease. These include; physical activity, healthy diet, reduced alcohol intake and not smoking.

Diet is important for health. Eating a diet with less saturated with less saturated fat, added sugars and salt may help reduce the risk of dementia, as well as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Smoking has an extremely harmful effect on the heart, lungs and vascular system including the blood vessels in the brain. This increase the risk of developing dementia - smokers are almost twice as likely to develop dementia as non-smokers

Regularly drinking above recommended levels increase the risk of developing dementia. Drinking high levels over time can directly cause a related condition called alcohol related brain damage

A lack of regular physical activity along with a sedentry lifestyle can increase the risk of developing dementia, which is caused in part by problems with the circulation of blood to and around the brain.

Obesity in mid life is a risk factor for dementia, diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and other health problems. It is therefore important to acheive and mantain a healthy bodyweight

Keeping mentally active by learning new skills or joining clubs can also be a good way to connect with other people and improve mental wellbeing. You could play Scrabble, cards or bingo, do puzzles, help your grandchildren with their homework, join a quiz or darts team.

Hover over for more info

Apple with tape measure around it Apple with tape measure around it Apple with tape measure around it Apple with tape measure around it Apple with tape measure around it

Additional Information

Page 1 of 5

What's good for your heart is good for your brain

Everyone who has an NHS Health Check should be made aware that the risk factors for cardiovascular disease are the same as those for dementia.

The key message that should be communicated is that ‘what's good for your heart is good for your brain’ and by adopting a healthier lifestyle people can reduce their risk of developing both cardiovascular disease and dementia.

Everyone over the age of 65 will also be given further information on dementia via the leaflet. It is important to explain that discussing information about dementia is provided as a key part of the NHS Health Check programme for all people aged between 65-74 years.

Older Couple riding bicycles

Page 2 of 5

Introducing the dementia leaflet

A leaflet about dementia and cardiovascular disease will be given to attendees as part of their NHS Health Check appointment.

The leaflet will act as a prompt sheet for you to communicate the key messages and information about dementia.

This should take no longer than two minutes of the appointment.

In order to increase people’s awareness of dementia, there are some key bits of information that you will find useful.

Page 3 of 5

The signs and symptoms of dementia

Everyone aged 65-74 who has an NHS Health Check should be made aware of the signs and symptoms of dementia and be signposted to memory services if this is appropriate.

Forgetfulness. For example, trouble remembering what has happened recently or recognising familiar people and places.

Finding it hard to follow conversations and losing the thread of what you were saying.

Problems planning and doing tasks you used to do easily. For example, dealing with money, following a cooking recipe or writing a letter.

Feeling confused even in a familiar place.

Trouble controlling your mood or behaviour.

Myth 1: Dementia is inherited from your parents.
Fact: Dementia is only inherited in a very small number of cases. Most dementia is not inherited.

Myth 2: Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same thing
Fact: Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. About two out of every three people with dementia have Alzheimer’s.

Myth 3: You don’t need to do physical activity as long as you do crosswords and Sudoku
Fact: It is always good to stimulate your mind and your memory. But we know that a healthy lifestyle is the best way to reduce your chance of getting dementia.

Page 4 of 5

Signposting

There is plenty of information and support available for people who are interested in or worried about dementia.

Page 5 of 5

Delivering the intervention in practice

Use the information about dementia as an opportunity to promote positive behaviour change to lifestyle

The 4 key messages to be communicated are:

  1. What’s good for your heart is good for
    your brain
  2. Factors that increase risk of cardiovascular disease also increase the chances of developing dementia
  3. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can reduce risk of both dementia and cardiovascular disease
  4. There are local services available for information and support

Page 1 of 2

Key tips for practice

Page 2 of 2

How to deal with challenging questions

  • Reinforce how people can take action to reduce risk of dementia
  • Stay calm and don’t panic
  • Listen to any concerns or worries
  • Advise people that the Alzheimer’s Society provides a huge amount of online resources if people want to find out more, as does Alzheimer's Reasearch UK
  • To access resources to support the conversation - Alzheimer's Research UK, Alzheimer's Society, NHS Health Check, Age UK

Page 1 of 5

Commonly asked questions

Q. What about genetics? My mother had dementia so does that mean I will get it?

A. Many people are concerned that if they have family members with dementia they are more likely to develop dementia themselves. Genetic factors only directly cause the disease in a very small number of families with dementia, the majority of cases of dementia are not caused by inherited genetics. There is no single gene responsible for all cases of dementia. The evidence shows that the risk factors which we have discussed in your NHS Health Check appointment are more likely to cause dementia.

Q. Are you giving me this information because you think I’ve got dementia?

A. All NHS Health Check attendees aged 65+ are been given this information as part as their NHS Health Check because the risk factors that increase the chance of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease, also increase the chances of dementia.

Page 2 of 5

Commonly asked questions

Q. I thought I would be screened for dementia, are you going to do a memory test?

A. The dementia component of the NHS Health Check is designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of dementia, not to diagnose whether you have dementia or not. By better understanding the risk factors that increase your chances of developing dementia you can to take action to change them and reduce your risk of developing dementia and CVD. If you are concerned that you may have some of the symptoms of dementia then you should see your GP who can refer you for further assessment.

Q. I have some of the symptoms but they’re just due to ageing aren’t they?

A. Some of the signs and symptoms of dementia are the same as those which happen as part of normal ageing, for example briefly forgetting someone’s name. However, if you are concerned that you may have some of the signs and symptoms of dementia then you should speak to your GP.

Page 3 of 5

Commonly asked questions

Q. Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same thing?

A. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. About two out of every three people with dementia have Alzheimer’s.

Q. You don’t need to do physical activity as long as you do crosswords and Sudoku?

A. It is always good to stimulate your mind and your memory. But we know that a healthy lifestyle is the best way to reduce your chance of getting dementia..

Page 4 of 5

Commonly asked questions

Q. What chance do I have of getting dementia?

A. One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia. However, it is difficult to accurately judge any one person’s chances of getting dementia because of the many risk factors involved. Those people who take regular physical exercise, get their risk factors treated and assessed regularly (e.g. cholesterol and blood pressure), drink only in moderation, adopt a healthy balanced diet and who don’t smoke are less at risk of developing dementia.

Page 5 of 5

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

This section will cover

  • short self-assessment consisting of multi-choice questions

Page 1 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

Please ensure you enter your correct email address without errors
or you will not receive your certificate of completion at the end of the module

Name:

Email:

Confirm Email:

Profession:
Please specify:

Type of organisation:
Please specify:

Organisation name:

Region:

Page 2 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

The dementia component of the NHS Health Check is currently:

For all people attending an NHS Health Check

For anyone under the age of 65 attending an NHS Health Check

For anyone aged 65-74 years old attending an NHS Health Check

Page 3 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

The dementia component of the NHS Health Check is about:

Screening people for early signs of dementia

Highlighting the potential to reduce the risk of developing dementia

Undertaking a clinical test

Page 4 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

The dementia component of the NHS Health Check has three key aims to:

Raise awareness about dementia, to highlight risk reduction messages and to signpost people to local services

Highlight the high rate of undiagnosed dementia, to screen for dementia and to offer people medication

To raise awareness about dementia, to encourage people to visit a memory clinic and to offer medication

Page 5 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

What is dementia?

An umbrella term for several diseases that affect the way the brain works

A single disease that means you forget things

Something that happens to everyone as they get older

Page 6 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

Can you reduce the risk of developing dementia?

No, there is nothing you can do

Yes, by taking a memory test

Yes, by changing certain risk and lifestyle factors up to 30% of cases of Alzheimer’s disease can be avoided

Page 7 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

What is the key risk reduction message for dementia?

Play lots of mental puzzles

What is good for your heart is good for your brain

There is nothing you can do

Page 8 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

What is the best way to introduce risk reduction messages for dementia?

Leave it until the end of the appointment and simply give the client a leaflet

Don’t mention it at all

When discussing other cardiovascular risk factors, highlight that they also apply to dementia

Page 9 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

What are the key lifestyle factors that someone might need to change to help reduce their risk of developing dementia?

Watching quiz shows regularly and playing dominios

Regular exercise, not smoking, a healthy balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not drinking too much, keeping socially and mentally active

Running a mile every day, eating plenty of fish and drinking three glasses of red wine a night

Page 10 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

Are there any resources to help you deliver the dementia component?

No.

Yes, there is a specific NHS Health Check dementia leaflet that you can give to every client and online training videos and resources

Yes, but it will depend on what is available locally

Page 11 of 13

Multiple Choice
self-assessment

What should you do if someone is worried about their memory?

Offer them a memory test during the Health Check appointment

Nothing

Signpost them to their GP and highlight the support and information resources in the NHS Health Check dementia leaflet and on the NHS Health Check website

Page 12 of 13

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Page 13 of 13

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