Thursday, March 4, 2021

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Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband opens up about Alzheimer’s struggle

Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband admits he gets "frustrated and irritable" when dealing with her devastating Alzheimer’s disease.
The 82-year-old British acting legend was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and Barbara’s spouse Scott Mitchell has revealed how difficult it is to watch his beloved wife battle the debilitating condition.
Speaking to Chris Evans on virginradio.co.uk, he explained: "I do get frustrated. I wouldn’t be human. It is hard to be a saint in this situation. It is pretty impossible not to have feelings of frustration and irritability. Even though you know they can’t help it, we are human. We have our own breaking points."
Scott admitted Barbara has good days and bad days and sadly sometimes she even forgets that they are married.
He said: "I’d say things are the same and a bit worse. The confusion deepens, there are two sides of the condition with Barbara, sometimes we will be sitting there having a normal conversation and watching TV or seeing people she knows on the TV. Just chatting and laughing, and her humour is brilliant. And then let’s say I can be the centre of her universe, if I leave the lounge to the kitchen, she will shout out ‘Scott where are you.’
"This moves me a lot, the reverse side of that is she goes from looking at me like that, to sometimes and it is becoming quite regular now, she will ask ‘are we married? Have you stayed here before?’ Or ‘are we going home now?’, when we are sitting in our front room.
"I just want people to think about how that would feel, whether it’s you partner as in my case that I have spent 26 years with, or a parent, or grandparent. I can’t describe the feeling when they look at you and have a bit of doubt about who you are and what you are doing there. It is cruel because it leads you into a false sense of security."
And Scott revealed it breaks his heart to see his beloved wife struggling with the disease.
He said: "It is a crazy disease. The majority of us are not prepared for it, we are not carers, we don’t know how it is going to affect us and how we are going to react in that situation. This disease will test you to your core, as a carer watching a loved one go through this. Your resilience will be tested like no other thing you will ever go through, I know that is how it has affected me. My whole world has changed from that day of diagnosis.
"It is hard thing to watch. When you have known this person, the way you know them. Barbara, God bless her, her memory was the best ever. She could remember if I said something 23 years ago, she would bring it up. I can see the frustration it causes her and for those living with it, what happens is they get caught between this world and the other world, you go off to where you know you are having these black-outs. Where suddenly you don’t know where you are and that is a heartbreaking thing to watch for anyone."
Scott joined Chris Evans in the studio on Thursday (08.08.19) as the DJ gave listeners the chance to join him and bid in a charity auction for a VIP package and Amsterdam Marathon experience, in aid of Dementia Revolution.
So far the auction has raised £322,426 from listeners, and is set to increase.
Listeners can tune in to ‘The Chris Evans Virgin Radio Breakfast Show with Sky’, every weekday from 6:30am.

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