Following the news of Barbara Windsor's dementia diagnosis, Ruth Langsford has opened up about her late father's own experience with the condition.
The 58-year-old’s father Dennis passed away in 2012 at the age of 84, after living with Alzheimer’s for 13 years.
Speaking on Loose Women, Ruth confessed that although his diagnosis was scary, it also brought with it a sense of ‘relief’. She explained,”It’s quite frightening, there is also a sense of relief when you’re given that diagnosis.
“I hope that doesn’t sound strange but when you know something is wrong and you’ve been looking into it and wondering and wondering ‘why are they behaving like this?’. When we got that diagnosis as a family, there was an element of relief, ‘Oh, that’s why.’ Then we understood it.”
Yesterday, Eastender’s star Barbara Windsor’s husband Scott Mitchell revealed that she had been diagnosed with the disease in 2014. He told how he’s decided to open up about her illness now, in order to avoid any confusion in the future.
Ruth admitted that she commended his decision to open up, revealing it can be difficult to share the news to anyone.
She said, “I think it’s wonderful that they’ve come out and talked about this in public and they’re getting so much support because I completely understand, particularly Scott’s point of view, his reluctance to make this public because you want to protect your family member.”
Ruth Langsford went on to confess that her mother, Joan, who she enjoys a close relationship with, also attempted to keep her husband’s condition under wraps.
The mum-of-one revealed that she only opened up to friends after some persuading from her and her sister – but that when she did, she received plenty of much-needed support.
“My mum was very much like that with my dad, and it actually took my sister and I to persuade her to tell people in the village where they lived.
“It made such a difference because everybody knew him, when he was maybe behaving out of character people understood. I think people understand a lot more and are a lot more helpful than you think maybe they’d be.”
Ruth Langsford has previously revealed that her mother took care of Dennis for 11 years, before eventually being forced to put him into care.
She confessed that it was the best decision for everyone involved, as his being at home was not helping anyone.
She said, “It broke my heart. But sometimes it is not possible to keep a sufferer at home. Me and my sister had to persuade my mum to let him go into care, because being at home was making them both ill.”
If you or a loved one require support or advice in dealing with Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia, visit the Alzheimer’s Society here.
You can also call them on 0300 222 11 22.