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Celebs support dementia campaign

08 May 2014 08:31

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is one of the stars backing the dementia campaign

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is one of the stars backing the dementia campaign

Stars from the worlds of music, sport, comedy and television are coming together to raise awareness of dementia.

Musicians Chris Martin, Lily Allen and Alesha Dixon have teamed up with footballer Leighton Baines, comedian Simon Pegg, actor Ray Winstone and presenter Paul O'Grady to create a new advert to drum up support for sufferers with the condition.

They want to encourage people to become "dementia friends" to help boost volunteering, education and care nationwide.

The condition, which is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities, usually occurs in people over the age of 65. People in this age group can protect themselves on holiday by taking out travel insurance that is specific to them, covering thousands of medical conditions and providing access to 24/7 emergency assistance.

Memory loss, thinking speed, mental agility, language, understanding and judgement are all affected by dementia.

The pop stars will be seen performing The Beatles' track I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends in the ad.

Author Sir Terry Pratchett, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease himself, is also involved in the call to arms, which will see volunteers who take part in the scheme attend free sessions to learn how to spot the signs of dementia and offer support for sufferers.

A new report compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business research on behalf of Dementia Friends - the Alzheimer's Society's campaign - reveals that businesses in England are losing out on £1.6 billion each year because of employees' caring obligations for people who have dementia.

It estimates that 50,000 carers will have to quit their job this year due to caring responsibilities, while a further 66,000 will have to make adjustments to the number of hours they work to fit in such duties.

Public Health England and the Alzheimer's Society are therefore encouraging more people to sign up to the Dementia Friends initiative.