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Open talking about dementia 'can remove stigma'

Open talking about dementia 'can remove stigma'
19th September 2008

Public figures speaking openly about dementia can be beneficial for reducing the levels of stigma associated with the condition, according to one commentator.

Writing in the Guardian, Alexander Chancellor said it is "encouraging" that people living with dementia and their relatives are increasingly able to talk about the issue.

The journalist was commenting on the recent statement from Carol Thatcher that her mother Margaret, the former prime minister, is suffering from the condition.

Mr Chancellor said: "We owe it to Carol that the public now understands that dementia can strike even the clearest and most ordered of brains."

Furthermore, Mr Chancellor suggested that the author Terry Pratchett had shown "a spirit that gives encouragement to the afflicted and comfort to the carers" through recent comments he made regarding his own Alzheimer's diagnosis.

Labour MP and former home secretary David Blunkett has joined other well-known Sheffield faces in raising publicity and funds for dementia care.

The BBC website reports Mr Blunkett was "arrested", taken to the city's crown court and ordered to raise £1,000 "bail money" as part of a fundraising drive for local dementia charity Lost Chord.

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