Emmerdale, the immensely popular TV soap, has announced a one-off dementia special to raise awareness for the life-changing condition.
The show is currently filming the episode, set to air this December, and will give the audience an insight into living with the symptoms of dementia.
It is reported that viewers will see the world from the perspective of Ashely Thomas (played by John Middleton) who was diagnosed with stroke-related early onset vascular dementia last year.
The episode has been conceived and produced with support from the Alzheimer’s Society to offer the most realistic depiction of Mr Thomas’ dementia as it progresses.
Emmerdale Series Producer, Iain MacLeod, said: “People living with dementia face challenges most of us can barely imagine. So, I took it as a challenge to help people picture this experience – to put them inside the mind of someone living with this condition.
“With this chapter of Ashley’s story, we set out to give people an insight into how ordinary, day-to-day experiences can become disorientating and distressing when refracted through the lens of dementia. Catching a bus, the apparently simple act of buying something in a shop, holding a conversation – all of these become tasks of Herculean scale.
In support of the awareness Emmerdale is achieving, Kathryn Smith, Director of Operations at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are incredibly moved that Emmerdale will be filming an episode dedicated to showing the audience the world from Ashley’s point of view.
“Storylines like this can help people raise awareness of dementia and help them to understand how dementia can impact a person’s ability to think, communicate, process new information and break down the stigma that is still associated with the disease.”