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Christopher Eccleston leads debate about how the media portrays dementia

Thursday 17 May 2018

LEGENDARY actor Christopher Eccleston is leading a public debate about how dementia is portrayed in the media.

The Doctor Who star will join a panel of experts to talk about whether the media portrays negative stereotypes of people living with dementia – in everything from soap opera story lines to news articles.

Salford-born Chris will speak alongside people living with dementia and academics leading research into the condition, during the event at the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK campus on Monday May 21.

They will talk about whether the often-negative language used to describe dementia in the media has an impact on people living with the condition, as well as their families, and what society can do to improve the perception of dementia.

Helping people live with dementia

The actor, who has spoken about how his father Ronnie lived with Alzheimer’s before his death in 2012, opened the Salford Institute for Dementia’s hub at the University’s Allerton building last year – providing an outreach centre for the public to access the latest research and ideas about living well with dementia.

The way dementia is presented on TV and in the news has a huge effect on people’s perception, and so it’s vitally important that we have this debate and encourage people in the media to get it right.

He said:“Dementia is a growing problem and we need families and carers to be educated and supported, and we need the general public to understand the condition. The way dementia is presented on TV and in the news has a huge effect on people’s perception, and so it’s vitally important that we have this debate and encourage people in the media to get it right.”

The debate is part of a series of events marking Dementia Action Week, the Alzheimer Society’s annual awareness campaign taking place on May 21-27, led by the University’s Salford Institute For Dementia.

Providing help and support 

Professor Anthea Innes, Director of the Salford Institute of Dementia, said: “The events taking place at the University of Salford to mark Dementia Action Week will provide a great opportunity for anyone who’s been affected by dementia to find out about the work being done here to help people living with the condition.

“We’re delighted to welcome Christopher Eccleston back to the University to talk about a subject that’s very close to his heart, and we hope as many members of public as possible can come along to these events to find out about the help and support that’s available.”