Actress and Alzheimer’s ambassador makes her case at the UN

Award-winning actress Carey Mulligan has said that dementia is a human rights issue which must be given proper attention.

Ms Mulligan, who has starred in films including Suffragette and The Great Gatsby, was addressing the United Nations (UN) earlier this week.

The Briton spoke at a panel event hosted by the Secretary General in New York.

“I have experienced first-hand how devastating dementia can be as my grandmother, Nans, lived with Alzheimer’s and passed away earlier this year,” she said.

“For too many years dementia has been dismissed as a natural part of ageing. It’s not. Dementia is a global health priority, affecting millions. One person develops dementia every three seconds.

“As a UK Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador I’ve seen perceptions start to shift. There is growing recognition of the scale of the problem, exemplified by the adoption of the World Health Organisation’s recent Global Action Plan on Dementia.”

The actress also argued that women tend to be disproportionately affected by the neurological condition; they are more likely to develop the illness and also provide the majority of care support.

“I was recently made aware of a woman who lives in South Africa and cares for her older sister with advanced dementia,” said Ms Mulligan.

“They have been outcast because the community in which they live view her symptoms as evidence of a terrible curse. This is happening in many countries. Dementia stigma exists universally and can lead to abuse and violence against women.”

She said that she hoped governments around the world could unite to address the situation.

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