ITV soap Emmerdale is getting ready to tackle a dementia-related storyline and is getting advice from the Alzheimer's Society to make sure it handles the subject in an accurate manner.
Character Ashley Thomas, played by actor John Middleton, will be diagnosed with vascular dementia later this week, a condition that currently affects around 150,000 people in the UK.
To ensure scriptwriters handle the issue in the right way, the Alzheimer's Society charity is advising Emmerdale throughout the process, with a dementia support worker visiting the soap's set to speak to Middleton about how best to portray the symptoms of vascular dementia.
The charity hopes that by tackling the issue through a high-profile medium, greater awareness will be raised of vascular dementia, which is the second most common form of the disease affecting people in the UK.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, commented: "There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK - many of whom still face a huge amount of stigma and misunderstanding which programmes like Emmerdale can help to address."
Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.