Nobody likes thinking about getting old – especially for those of us with family histories of dementia.

The fear of forgetting the important things and people around us permeates our thoughts when we think of dementia – at some point, communication and simple tasks like brushing our teeth become difficult.

For around 5.8 million Americans—5.6 million of whom are ages 65 or older—dementia is a tangible risk and a harsh reality to face.

However, there’s some new research that brings some clarity into why people get dementia in the first place.

After examining records from the UK Biobank of more than 350,000 adults ages 65 and younger who had dementia diagnoses, researchers narrowed down fifteen risk factors that were associated with early-onset dementia risks, which included:

  1. Vitamin D deficiency
  2. Overuse or abuse of alcohol
  3. Depression diagnosis
  4. Living in social isolation
  5. Having two copies of the gene that influences Alzheimer’s, the apolipoprotein E4 gene
  6. Being from a lower socioeconomic status
  7. Having a hearing impairment
  8. Abstaining from alcohol
  9. Having a lower formal education level
  10. High C-reactive protein levels (indicate chronic inflammation)
  11. Low handgrip strength, indicating physical frailty
  12. Diabetes
  13. Heart disease
  14. History of strokes
  15. Form of low blood pressure called orthostatic hypotension

Of course, some of these factors we can’t change or control – but there are some ways to help reduce your risk of dementia and help you stay independent for longer.

Get Social and Try New Things

By talking to more people and participating in social events, you’ll decrease your risk of developing dementia by up to 50%, according to a 2023 study by Nature Aging. If you live alone, make sure to get out and about doing things with company.

Why not try a new hobby? By learning new things—whether that’s chess, educational classes, or a new sport—you’ll also decrease your chance of dementia significantly. Get out and learn something new with people by your side!

Have Fun in the Sun, but Pay Attention to Your Health

Vitamin D deficiency was one of the top risks for dementia – even just an hour and a half each day in the sunshine can help synthesize vitamin D for your body. Of course, make sure to wear sunscreen!

Visiting your doctor regularly can also help prevent conditions like heart disease and diabetes – several health conditions linked to dementia can be alleviated early if caught sooner than later. Make sure you’re looking after yourself!

When Was Your Last Hearing Test?

One of the easiest ways to help prevent dementia is by getting your hearing tested. Better hearing and consistent wear of hearing aids has been proven to improve cognitive health, which is related to your memory and motor skills – two of the first functions to deteriorate from dementia.

If you have questions or concerns about hearing care, or would like some advice about your unique situation, please don’t hesitate to request a callback from us; a member of our team would be happy to contact you for a no-obligations chat.

Don’t want to wait? Find your closest clinic and call us at

Thousand Oaks: (805) 379-0824,
Simi Valley: (805) 583-8698,
Oxnard: (805) 983-4214, or
Camarillo: (805) 484-5951.

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Gregory PhD, AuD, CCC-A, ABA, NBC-HIS

Dr. Gregory Frazer entered private practice Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing in 1982. For 14 years he owned and operated Hearing Care Associates, which had 23 offices and was one of the largest audiology private practices in the U.S. Dr. Frazer is a well-known clinician and teacher, and was the first audiologist to obtain dual doctorates in Audiology, both a PhD. in Audiology as well as the new Clinical Doctorate of Audiology, the AuD.