Barbara Windsor’s Alzheimer’s worsens in lockdown as husband considers specialist help

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Dame Barbara Windsor, 82, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, but her husband Scott Mitchell, 57, didn’t publicly speak out about her degenerative illness until 2018.

Her husband is now having to think about finding alternative care for her

Ross Kemp

Earlier this week, Ross Kemp, 55, joined Alex Jones and Gethin Jones on The One Show to discuss his current projects, including the return of some iconic EastEnders episodes.

During their chat, the host asked Ross how Barbara is getting on, to which he revealed her condition had worsened during lockdown.

The documentary maker explained: “We did a documentary about Alzheimer’s and she was really the spur behind making that film.

“Sadly during lockdown she had gotten a lot worse and Scott, her husband, is now having to think about finding alternative care for her because that is basically what happens with that disease.


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“It is the biggest killer in the UK and sadly there is no cure.”

Ross went on to say that Barbara and Scott’s openness about the disease has helped others who may be suffering.

He added: “I think they decided once she got diagnosed they were not going to hide from it. They were going to make it as public as possible to create as much awareness as possible.

“For a lot of people when they get that diagnosis they don’t know what to do and I think someone like Dame Barbara talking about it has lifted again a lot of the stigma.”

The former EastEnders star caught up with Barbara’s long-term spouse in his two-part documentary.

Within this, Scott spoke out about the “dark moments” of his wife’s illness and seeking specalist care for her.

Expressing his worries, he told Ross: “He’s (the specialist) basically telling me I need to prepare myself that at some point it may not be sustainable to give her the kind of care she needs at the house.

“I’ve had some fairly dark moments since he said that because there’s a part of me that knows that most likely is the truth and that’s what needs to happen.”

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“I can’t imagine leaving that lady when she talks to me the way she does and putting her somewhere and thinking, ‘Why has he done this to me?'”

Ross also opened up about his emotional reunion with Barbara amid filming the documentary.

The Grant Mitchell star admitted he was “taken aback” when his on-screen mum queried who he was when he visited their home.

Speaking in the documentary, he added: “I’ve been in Barbara Windsor’s house for just a few minutes.


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“I’m sitting down with a cup of tea and a biscuit with my friend of three decades. I’m taken aback, but I can’t show it.

“When I arrived, she greeted me with a hug, as one of her ­closest friends,” he added.

“Barbara was my TV mum on EastEnders and is hilariously funny and ­vivacious, with a rapier wit — we’ve always had a giggle, on and off set.

“But now she clearly has no idea who I am.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting around six in every 10 people in the UK.

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