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Risk Factors and How to Avoid Them

Although some people have younger-onset dementia, symptoms usually appear later in life, which means age is a big risk factor. Having an acquired brain injury also puts people in a higher risk category but it should be remembered that dementia is not inevitable or a natural part of ageing.

There are simple ways to reduce risk, like staying physically and mentally active, maintaining friendships and eating healthy food. Not smoking and having regular medical check-ups is also important to avoid an increased risk associated with high blood pressure and cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Traumatic Brain Injury due to falls

Getting older often means losing some of our physical strength, sense of balance and vision, all of which can put people at an extra risk of falling. Australian Health and Welfare studies show that head injury is the most common injury in people over 65 who are admitted to hospital after a fall (AIHW, 2019).

Slower reaction times, conditions like dementia and even dizziness due to medication can all play a part in increasing the risk of a traumatic brain injury due to falls.

Tips to reduce the risk of falls:

  • stay active to improve physical strength and balance
  • wear footwear that is safe and doesn’t slip off easily
  • make sure floor surfaces are safe, e.g. rugs cannot slip
  • make walkways and stairs easier to see with lights.


AIHW: Pointer S 2019. Trends in hospitalised injury due to falls in older people, 2007–08 to 2016–17. Injury research and statistics series no. 126. Cat. no. INJCAT 206. Canberra: AIHW.