Workplaces must get 'dementia friendly'

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Businesses must become more dementia-friendly and support employees who care for loved ones with dementia, says the government.

With dementia affecting nearly 700,000 people in England alone, thousands of working friends and relatives end up taking on the role of carer.

In 2014, 50,000 carers will have quit their job and 66,000 more will have to make adjustments at work, says Public Health England.

It is launching an awareness campaign.

The Dementia Friends initiative aims to show it will take a whole-society response to enable people with the condition to live well.

To become a friend, individuals watch a short online film, which explains what dementia is, how it affects individuals and what people can do to help those living with the disease.

Alternatively, people can attend a face-to-face awareness session run by the Alzheimer's Society charity in their area.

The average person diagnosed with dementia has been in their current job for at least nine years. Inevitably, many individuals affected while still working will have to take early retirement at some point.

However, with support from employers, they may be able to keep working for longer, says the Alzheimer's Society.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "Dementia isn't just a health condition - it attacks the fabric of our society and can take a huge toll on the families and friends of those affected by the disease.

"I am urging everyone - families, communities and businesses to come together to ensure that people with dementia can continue to live fulfilling and rewarding lives."

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