Barbara Windsor now needs '24-hour care' due to Alzheimer's struggle

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Scott Mitchell and Barbara Windsor (Credit: PA)

Barbara Windsor now needs 24-hour nursing care and can’t be left alone due to her battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Her husband Scott Mitchell has also said that she has flashbacks to her childhood growing up in North London, which leave her ‘very emotional’.

He told The Sun: “I used to feel very guilty about leaving her, so I could be stuck in the house for two or three days.

“When I did first have carers in I still felt a sense of guilt.

“But I also realised it is so important for me to have that little bit of rest from the situation — otherwise you can’t keep strong. You need to keep strong for the other person.”

He added: “We watch quite a lot of TV and we have a lovely, special radio for people with dementia.

“They make it very easy and you can do playlists — there’s a whole thing of Barbara’s career and her songs on that. She really loves that, she connects with it.”

EastEnders and Carry On star Windsor, 81, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, with Mitchell revealing the news last year.

Dame Barbara Windsor as Queen Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders (Credit: BBC/PA)

Since then, the couple have raised money for Alzheimer’s charities, with Mitchell planning to run the London Marathon in April in a bid to bring in £100,000 for Dementia Revolution.

He’ll be joined by EastEnders stars Jake Wood, Adam Woodyatt and Natalie Cassidy for the fundraiser.

In January, he said: “I can’t leave Barbara by herself anymore; life has changed drastically for her and of course that reflects on our whole life together.

“Don’t get me wrong, Barbara and I don’t just sit there in some state of continual misery; we have chats, we laugh, we watch the telly and we make each other giggle. There’s still life going on, but of course that’s interspersed with some of the difficult moments too.”

He also revealed to Good Morning Britain that she sometimes forgets who he is.

“I have a board where there’s pictures of us from the beginning. She will suddenly say to me ‘How long have we been together?’. I say ’25 years’,” he said.

“It’s now quite instant, the forgetfulness is quite instant. I think it’s when every memory will go. When, on a constant basis, maybe one day Barbara won’t know who I am.

“I’ve had it twice. I was helping her out of the bath and she suddenly looked at me very scared and said ‘Sorry, who are you?’.

“There are no words that can describe it.”

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