Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband has revealed the actress frequently asks for her mother and sometimes thinks she’s at her parents’ home, such is the cruel progression of her battle with Alzheimer’s.
Television legend Barbara, 82, who is best known for her role as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders and for starring in nine Carry On films, first revealed she was suffering from the disease, for which there is currently no cure, in May 2018, after being diagnosed in 2014.
Her husband Scott Mitchell, 56, said her condition has worsened recently, and that the legendary actress often gets confused as to where she is.
Barbara, 82, who is best known for her role as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders and starring in nine Carry On films, revealed she was suffering from dementia in May 2018, after being diagnosed in 2014. Her husband Scott Mitchell, 56, said her condition has worsened recently, and that the legendary actress often gets confused as to where she is. (Pictured together on Christmas day)
He told the Sunday Mirror: ‘Constantly, she does not realise where we are, even in the house. She will ask me, “When are we going home?”
‘Sometimes she will ask me about people who have already passed away, as if they are still here. That is something she does regularly about her own parents. It is a very difficult one.
‘Barbara will often say to me: “Do you know how to get in touch with my mum? I’d like to have a chat with her. I haven’t seen her for ages, I need to see her.”‘
Scott said the situation was ‘heartbreaking’, adding that she forgets short-term things like if she’s had dinner, but remembers things about her childhood and early career.
Scott revealed that Barbara, pictured here in April, often forgets where she is and asks to get in touch with her late mother
Over Christmas, Scott – who tied the knot with Barbara in 2000 – shared images of the Shoreditch-born star enjoying the classic Carry On films which made her name.
In one of his pictures Barbara put her hands up and smiled as she stood in front of the TV, which had been paused with her on the screen.
She was also seen posing with her hands on her hips and gesturing at the big screen in other snaps from Christmas Day.
Over Christmas, Scott – who tied the knot to Barbara in 2000 – shared images of the Shoreditch-born star enjoying the classic Carry On films which made her name.
The former EastEnders actress starred in nine Carry On Films, from 1964’s Carry On Spying when she was aged 27 to 1977’s That’s Carry On!.
It comes after Barbara sent a special Christmas message to Good Morning Britain as she made a rare appearance amid her dementia battle.
She said: ‘Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all the viewers and everyone at Good Morning Britain from us and everyone at The Alzheimer’s Society.’
Updating on her health, Scott said: ‘The lovely thing is, she’s still got that lovely sense of fun within her. She still loves to sit there and giggle.
‘I make her laugh, she makes me laugh. Obviously the confusion is very unsettling for her.’
When asked on the show if he feels guilt when he goes out without his wife, he said: ‘I still struggle with that. I struggled with it when I first decided that we’d have carers come in the house. I was worried about how she’d be if I wasn’t there.
Throwback: Barbara, pictured in Carry on Abroad which was released in 1972, starred in several Carry On films before joining the cast of EastEnders
Icon: The star is also known for her role as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders which she played from 1994-2016
‘If I do catch myself joining in, laughing and joking, I do have those pangs of guilt.’
And back in March Scott revealed that Barbara has taken to calling the worst aspects of her Alzheimer’s disease ‘blackout periods’.
He told Loose Women: ‘She’ll call them her blackouts,’ he explained. ‘She’ll hold her head and say “I’ve got one of those blackouts, where are we?” Any lover, my heart goes out to you, you are powerless.’
He also said that the worst moments are during the gradual transition from daytime to night time.
‘It’s every night from five o’clock onward,’ he explained. ‘It’s called sun-downing. As it gets darker they become more confused and she’s on this loop. It becomes a loop every day from that time.’