Contact sports and dementia

December 10, 2020

Written by Dr. Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO of Dementia UK.

‘With a disproportionate number of cases of dementia coming to light from players of contact sports, there is clearly a need for more support in this area for the players’ families. As the only national charity dedicated to providing support to families through dementia specialist Admiral Nurses, we know how dementia can affect people from all walks of life, and the need for tailored support which takes account of their life circumstances.

‘Players of contact sports in particular can experience repeated head trauma, and it is this trauma which can increase the risk of neurological conditions. We therefore believe in building up the case for more regular screening of at-risk groups as early diagnosis can give families time to plan for future needs and challenges. There also needs to be greater development of young onset dementia services, especially when many current and previous players have been diagnosed under the age of 65.

Contact sports and dementia blog

‘Some of our dementia specialist nurses are supporting families of ex-contact sports players right now. There are 305 of the charity’s Admiral Nurses working across the UK. They are supporting families through some of the most challenging experiences of dementia, including out in the community, care homes, hospitals, hospices as well as on our national Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline (0800 888 6678 or For any families of players, past and present, who are worried about dementia, please do get in touch to find out how we may be able to help’.

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