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Phillips tells of dementia fears

Choreographer Arlene Phillips has spoken out about how "frightening" it can be when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia.

Phillips, whose late father suffered from the disease, has appeared in a series of films which have been created to guide people through the experience of caring for a dementia patient.

The films, made by Bupa Care Homes, provide basic information for friends and family members of sufferers. The films are to be featured on Bupa's Understand Dementia section of their website.

"I know from my own experience how frightening it can be when someone you loved lived with dementia," she said. "I wanted to make these films to help others. Had I known what I do now, my relationship with my father needn't have been so fraught and difficult."

Professor Graham Stokes, director of dementia care at Bupa Care Homes, said: "When families bring a loved one to our care homes, they often tell us how they struggled for many years caring for them - sometimes on their own, with little support.

"Supporting families and friends of those living with dementia is important so I'm delighted we're launching the new hub which can be a one stop shop for information and advice."

Meanwhile, two in five people admit they would not know how best to support someone with dementia, a survey conducted by the healthcare provider found.

The research, conducted on 2,000 adults, also found that 40% would not know what to expect as the disease progresses.

Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: "One in three people over 65 will develop dementia. It is therefore worrying that so many people would not know how best to support someone.

"Getting a diagnosis of dementia doesn't have to be a frightening experience. There is a huge amount of support and information out there which can enable people with dementia and their carers to live well."

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