Emma Willis 'grateful' to work with dementia specialist after Bruce Willis's FTD diagnosis
Emma Heming Willis is adding to her "dementia care toolbox" as Bruce Willis battles frontotemporal dementia (FTD). On Monday, Emma revealed she's working with a specialist amid the actor's health struggles. The Willis family announced two weeks ago he was diagnosed with the "cruel disease" in an effort to bring awareness to FTD.
Emma is working with Teepa Snow, a specialist who provides training, education and hands-on skills for people who have a loved one with dementia. "She's a loving, compassionate and skilled leader in this space who navigates herself with pure empathy," Emma shared on Instagram.
In the comments section, Snow praised the actor's wife for doing "an absolutely remarkable job of providing the right support for Bruce as his abilities have changed" and for providing him "with what he needs to live well."
"[FTD] is never easy but with the right programming and support, it truly is possible to continue living life. Congrats to Emma and their entire family for their very very hard work and dedication," Snow added. "It is truly remarkable!"
Last March, Bruce's family announced the Die Hard star would be "stepping away" from acting indefinitely as he was diagnosed with aphasia, a condition where a person loses the ability to communicate. The actor's condition worsened over the past year and he was officially diagnosed with FTD.
"Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis," the Willis family shared earlier this month.
"FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know. Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce's condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research," the family added.
"Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately. We know in our hearts that — if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families," the Willis's continued.
The Pulp Fiction star's blended family — Emma, 44, their daughteters, Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8, ex-wife Demi Moore and their children Rumer, 34, Scout, 31, and Tallulah, 29 — are all rallying around the patriarch.
"The focus for Bruce is to keep him active. He has a busy schedule with activities every day. They make sure both his body and brain is exercised," a family source told People.
"The family is all closer than ever," the insider added, noting that Emma is trying to create positive memories for their young daughters. "She wants them to remember Bruce as an amazing, fun dad. She wants them to have the best memories of him."