Carey Mulligan supports bid to raise dementia awareness


Carey Mulligan tells the BBC's Adam Brimelow about her grandmother's Alzheimer's

Related Stories

A poll has suggested more than four out of 10 people know - or have known - someone with dementia.

The Yougov survey indicates strong concern about dementia across all ages.

It suggests young adults are most likely to want to learn more about the condition.

The Oscar-nominated actress, Carey Mulligan, whose grandmother has Alzheimer's, has become an "ambassador" for the Alzheimer's Society to help promote awareness of the condition.

Carey's grandmother - who she calls Nans - was diagnosed with Alzheimer's eight years ago. The actress, who is now 26, spent many happy childhood holidays staying with her, and says they were very close.

'Inspirational support'

Witnessing her grandmother's confusion and distress as the disease took hold was painful for the whole family.

Carey says there is now almost no communication or recognition from "Nans", but that she still delights in music.

She says the "inspirational" support provided at her grandmother's care home in south Wales shows how people with dementia can be helped to live well.

"It's based on time, and remembering that those with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they're all individuals and they're all unique. And they just need to be interacted with on a human level."

Start Quote

I've seen the amazing dignity of life, and an amazing love that people can have, and amazing generosity”

End Quote Carey Mulligan Alzheimer's Society Ambassador

The actress, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the film "An Education", will promote this message through her new role with the Alzheimer's Society.

She hopes to make a particular impact with younger people.

"Because they have their family members being affected they want to know more, they want to understand it and they want to find a way to cure it or find ways to prevent it, so there's just a lot more interest."

There is some evidence of this in the Yougov poll, commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society.

Over 4,200 people took part in the online poll, designed to be representative of all UK adults.

Of those, 44% said they knew or had known someone with dementia.

And 61% said they worried about themselves or someone they knew developing the disease, but overall only 16% wanted to know more about the condition.

Among 18-24 year-olds, 25% wanted to know more.

Reach "new audiences"

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, expressed concern over the poll's findings.

"Dementia is the biggest challenge facing the UK today so it's not surprising that people are so worried.

"There is currently no cure and people aren't getting the care they deserve. However we know that with the right support people can live well with the condition for a number of years."

He said Carey Mulligan's support would help the charity to reach new audiences and get people talking about the condition.

The Alzheimer's Society is running events across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, during Dementia Awareness Week.

Carey Mulligan says she still goes with her mother to see "Nans" when she can. She says the dementia has caused her great sadness, but that the visits have sometimes been very positive.

"It's always so wonderful to see a glimpse of her, and have a moment where she responds or where you can see her really at peace or happy. I've seen the amazing dignity of life, and an amazing love that people can have, and amazing generosity."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    My mum had dementia.
    At times she was very confused, at other times she really was with us again.
    Sadly it's part of life. You get old and you die of something.
    With three million+ unemployed we should be able to do more to help our Elderly members.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Although care for people with dementia is very important, practical help is even more important in the very early stages.

    Discuss memory with people over 50 and you'll find memory loss has already started - e.g. "where did I put my glasses?". It is my belief that if we can step in at this point and help people who otherwise seem 100% OK, the point at which serious problems set in can be put off.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Whilst I appreciate the attention given I am always left to wonder why "Celebs" are the constant Sages of all wisdom on every social issue. My father is 91 & has Dementia. Only he doesnt know it. We have a hell of a game with him. No one, I mean no one is interested. He lives alone. We wait some disaster when he is found wandering naked, robbed or something before anyone takes any action at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Well truely!

    Poor old grand mother!

    but what a career boost !

    Oh the sincerity !

    Perhaps a leading role ! certainly more publicity !

    OH thank you Grand MAM MAA !

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    What I don’t understand is why unnecessary procedures such as IVF are funded when so much more funding is needed for respite and dementia care. The cost of one cycle of IVF would pay for a carer for a year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    The main problem with all care services is lack of training and pay. people turn a blind eye to abuses because they are all for good care but are against paying more tax so the best people can be employed to carry out this vital role which we may all need some day

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    We pollute our foodchain with chemicals, some known to cause neurological problems. We take medication that is known to cause neurological problems (eg.Statins). Then, when Alzheimer rates go off the charts, rather than caring for the sufferers with love and stimulation, we 'warehouse' them in expensive care homes where they'll be drugged up to keep them quiet and rotting in their own urine.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    This is a good first step, but there ought to be a push to recognise the needs of carers too. Carers are often the elderly wife/husband of the sufferer who very often are left to it with little or no support & no respite. There is a desperate need for respite services for over burdened, under paid & under appreciated carers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    A shocking and horrible illness. At a time when social care is in a state of crisis and underfunding, even more worrying that those affected will not get the best care possible.

    We need a renewed focus on the value of people, not balance sheets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    What about social care? People with dementia are frequently humiliated and abused in care homes and hospitals – lose your marbles and you lose your rights. More needs to be done to prevent elderly people suffering from dementia being preyed on and mistreated.

    And Little_Old_Me – yes, we get it, you don’t like the Tories. Please change the record.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Sadly, dementia is only one of the growing list of ailments and diseases that require more and more specialist care and treatment. I'm afaraid all we can do is cope as best we can in the hope that curescan be found.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    I watched at a distance, unable to help, as someone I loved was destroyed by caring for a wife with dementia.

    There was no respite care, a day centre a few hours once a week, inadequate help at home.

    The care crisis is not just about care homes, but support for those - some in their 80s - who are caring at home. That care is cheap, but not fee. Not helping them is STUPID, as well as inhumane.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Dementia only happens to other people, doesn't it?
    It couldn't happen to me, of all people, or to anyone in my family, could it?
    So why do I need to worry about treatment and care?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Over recent years, due to various advances in medicine, life expectancy has increased greatly. But at what cost ? Whilst people are living longer, more and more are now developing dementia in their old age.

    So as people live longer, so the rates of dementia have increased - I know it sounds harsh, but is that what we really want ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    This is a huge issue which needs far more funding and research.I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some link to our increased reliance on pharmaceuticals and the degradation of our diet.Eating fish on Fridays, growing your own veg, baking proper bread and relying on healthy eating and exercise to keep illness away are becoming things of the past -it wouldn’t be surprising if this was a factor.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Surely the cruelest of all cruel illnesses to develop. Here's hoping more can be done to help sufferers out, not least to help their loved ones.

    Nos of sufferers will only increase with us baby boomers entering retirment & living longer, but what chance Slasher Cameron & the boy Gideon finding money to help the NHS care better for old folk with dementia.....?????


Page 4 of 4


More Health stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.