Dame Barbara Windsor has been moved into a care home amid her battle with dementia.
The 82-year-old actress has been battling with Alzheimer’s – a form of dementia – for six years, and after her condition worsened, her husband Scott Mitchell has confirmed she has been moved into a specialist care facility.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, he said: "I have been used to hustle and bustle in this little space, then suddenly, silence . . . all you can hear are your thoughts, and that’s not always healthy.
"I feel I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. I walk around, trying to keep busy, then burst in to tears. It feels like a bereavement.
"It’s always been my biggest fear, that one day I would have to take her somewhere and she’d be thinking, ‘Why would he do this to me?’ That fear has become a reality. It’s something I never wanted."
Scott – who has been married to Barbara since 2000 – was advised by the ‘EastEnders’ star’s neurologist, Dr Angus Kennedy, to tell the iconic actress she needed to go somewhere for a few days so that doctors could adjust her medication, in order to make the transition stress-free.
He added: "Walking out of the house that day was an incredibly tough thing to do because, the reality is, I doubt if Barbara will ever return. She didn’t know that as we were driving off, but I did. It was an awful feeling."
Barbara had to self-isolate for two weeks when she arrived at the care home because of the coronavirus pandemic.
And Scott, 57, says the decision to put her in care was tough, because he thinks she will "blame" him for "letting her down".
He said: "I won’t kid you, it hurts. She still seems unsettled and, in her lucid moments, I can see she’s worked out this isn’t temporary. She’s still thinking and saying I’ve let her down. Of course that’s a painful thing to hear, but I know it’s not the Barbara I know speaking.
"And, let’s be honest, who else is she going to blame? I just have to smile and tell her I love her and everything I do is for her best wellbeing. I am no different to millions of other people who would have experienced this."