Dementia one of the nation's biggest challenges - care and support minister

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The Department of Health (DoH) has launched a campaign, supported by the Alzheimer's Society, to encourage people to talk to loved ones showing signs of dementia.

The three-month campaign in England will raise awareness of the condition, early signs and symptoms and how to seek help. It includes television and print advertising.

The campaign is part of the Prime Minister's Dementia Challenge. It aims to encourage the first difficult conversation in families when early signs have been spotted and to make a GP appointment.

The Alzheimer's Society has provided advice on how to bring up the topic with loved ones.

Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for health, said: "Our goal is to make this country a world leader in tackling the challenge of dementia. That requires us all to play our part, including being brave enough to start conversations about dementia to get our loved ones the early help we know makes a difference."

Norman Lamb, care and support minister, said dementia was one of the biggest challenges the nation faced.

He said: "While there remains no cure, early diagnosis can help people take control of their condition and plan for the future.

"This campaign sends a clear and important message - if you spot signs or symptoms in your loved ones then have that difficult conversation because diagnosis makes a difference."

Sir Michael Parkinson, Fiona Phillips and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks are supporting the campaign by sharing personal experiences of dementia in a series of short films.

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