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Dame Barbara Windsor's Alzheimer's: Ross Kemp praises decision to speak out

11 May 2018

The revelation by her third husband that the former star of EastEnders and the Carry On movies was suffering from Alzheimer's disease set off a wave of empathy whose ripples spread far beyond showbusiness. It is the most common type of dementia, affecting 62% of those diagnosed in the UK.

'So rather than me living in fear she might get confused or upset, they'll know that if her behaviour seems odd, it's due to Alzheimer's and accept it for what it is'. She has now retired from charity work as well as acting.

Support has begun to pour in for Dame Barbara Windsor after her husband revealed the actress has been living with Alzheimer's.

He said she knows he is speaking out about it now, but adds that if she forgets she has given her blessing, he will 'have to deal with it'.

Barbara, 80, was given the devastating diagnosis in April 2014 after undergoing years of tests - and now her husband Scott Mitchell has spoken out as her illness is becoming more hard to hide.

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In the article written by Loose Women's Jane Moore Scott told of Barbara's struggle with the disease.

"It's important to bring the disease out into the open as a crucial step towards us tackling it".

Mr Mitchell, 55, said he wants fans of the Carry On legend to know why her behaviour may be erratic in the future.

"One thing about speaking about it and acknowledging it is that you're now on the dementia journey and I think it takes away the fear because it's the fear that's one of the worst things about dementia". Looking back, I was more anxious about myself than I was about her.

I was wary at first of seeing my granny after I heard she had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, a form of dementia. They struggle to remember much about your life and interaction can feel stilted.

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Speaking with the paper Mitchell said that he and Windsor had been trying to keep the news of her health private, but following a number of recent rumours surrounding the star and her health, they had no option to release the news to the public. To a certain extent she protected herself by being in a bit of denial.

Mr Mitchell said a small circle of friends who had begun to notice his wife's occasional confusion had been told shortly after the diagnosis.

He also said they made a decision to go public with the news to help other families whose loved ones have been diagnosed with this 'cruel disease'.

His associates included the gangster Reggie Kray and his brother Charles, with whom Dame Barbara had relationships.

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Dame Barbara Windsor's Alzheimer's: Ross Kemp praises decision to speak out