Concerned about dementia? Here are four ways to reduce your risk


It’s never too soon, or too late, to protect yourself from cognitive decline. But what can you do to take care of your brain? In partnership with RBC Wealth Management, Royal Trust, the Alzheimer Society of Canada presents some brain-healthy tips that can help you reduce your risk of dementia.

Four ways to reduce your risk.

Here’s some good news: Research has shown that, while we don’t know what exactly causes dementia, we do know that there are things we can do to reduce the likelihood of getting the disease. What’s the key to risk reduction and prevention? Protecting and stimulating your brain.

With a heathy brain, you’re not only protecting your overall health, you’re also reducing your risk of cognitive and chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Here are four brain-healthy tips that can help reduce your risk:

Stay connected

In a year where in-person gatherings have been severely diminished due to the effects of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to avoid feeling isolated and burnt out. Connecting to friends and family, even if it’s over the phone or video calls, can help you stay connected mentally—research shows that regularly interacting with others may help reduce your risk of dementia.

Get moving

Research has also shown that heart disease, stroke and diabetes all increase the risk of dementia. People who exercise regularly are less likely to develop these ailments, and therefore the risk of dementia is also reduced. Not to mention that regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve your mood! Speaking of which…

Manage your stress levels

Experiencing stress is a part of everyday life. Yet, when it persists over time, it can be a drain on your brain in such a way that your chances of cognitive decline increase. Everyone experiences stress differently and has different ways of managing it, but if you’re having difficulties, it may be helpful to focus on our other tips first—staying connected and active goes a long way in helping you manage stress. 

Give your brain a workout

When we talk about “challenging your brain,” what does that mean? Well, it could be as complex as learning a new language, or as simple as changing up a usual routine, like brushing your teeth with your other hand. By doing so, you tell your brain to engage more and learn, instead of relying on the familiar. Exercising your brain like this is a great way of reducing your risk of dementia.

Other risks you may not know

Did you know that mild levels of hearing loss can increase the risk of cognitive decline, including dementia? Though it’s still unclear how exactly it affects cognitive decline, hearing loss can lead to social isolation and loss of independence—a cascade effect that can increase the risk of dementia. As such, if you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s vital to use hearing aids and avoid exposure to loud sounds.

It’s now estimated that people living close to busy roads have a higher risk of dementia. Why? They may be exposed to higher levels of air pollution from vehicle emissions. More research is being done to explore the relationship between air pollution and dementia, but in the meantime, we recommend cleaning indoor air with air filters and paying attention to your local air quality advisories. 

Learn about other risks and get more tips to protect your brain from cognitive decline.

Also check out these resources on brain health from RBC Wealth Management


Promoting brain health at every age. Learn more about physical activity, nutrition and two lifestyle factors that may affect your brain health and risk of dementia.

Recognizing the early signs of dementia. Discover the differences between the early signs of dementia and normal age-related memory loss, and get tips on dementia prevention and the steps caregivers can take to provide support.


Your cognitive health: Symptoms, safeguards, and support. This educational discussion focuses on understanding the various aspects of cognitive health, the impact it has on an individual and their caregiver and how to protect oneself. This dialogue was produced in partnership between The National Institute on Ageing, at Ryerson University and RBC Wealth Management Royal Trust. 

Dementia is not inevitable: Lifestyle tips for your brain health. Some of Canada’s leading scientists in women’s brain health discuss lifestyle choices that can help prevent brain-aging diseases.

RBC Royal Trust and RBC Wealth Management are business segments of the Royal Bank of Canada. Please click this link for further information on the entities that are member companies of RBC Wealth Management.  The content in this publication is provided for general information only and is not intended to provide any advice or endorse/recommend the content contained in the publication.  ®/TM Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Trust are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under license. © Royal Bank of Canada  2021. All rights reserved.

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Leave a gift in your Will

By leaving a gift to the Alzheimer Society in your will, you can ensure that your charitable legacy will go toward supporting research that can prevent, treat and – hopefully, one day – cure dementia.

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Leave a gift in your Will