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Jimmy Nesbitt: My ill mum doesn’t know who I am

Northern Ireland actor Jimmy Nesbitt has revealed the heartache he endures because his Alzheimer’s-suffering mother barely recognises him.

The Five Minutes Of Heaven actor described how Mother’s Day was tinged with sadness due to his 77-year-old mum’s debilitating disease.

The star openly spoke of his pain at seeing the mother he loves losing her battle with Alzheimer’s.

He told Sunday Life: “I went to see her this morning and she didn’t know me. It’s been very difficult. I hadn’t seen her since Christmas as I’d been filming a lot — for the last 12 weeks I’ve been filming in Glasgow.

“So for the first time in quite a long time I wasn’t able to get over and if you spend a bit of time away the deterioration is, in a sense, more marked.”

The 45-year-old actor said his 81-year-old dad Jim and his family are learning to cope better with his mum’s condition.

“You go through a terrible stage early on when it’s first happening, because the sufferer is kind of aware of something happening to them and that can be very scary,” he said.

He continued: “We had a bit of knowledge of it in our family because it was in the family.

“My mother’s sister contracted it when she was quite young.

“My grandmother had it — we used to call it doting, but of course one thinks that it was probably very similar.”

Jimmy said he speaks out about his mother’s condition to help other families: “I think it is good in a sense to talk about it. It is difficult to talk about because you don’t really want to go into too much about the privacy of one’s family relations.

“But it’s also important for someone like me who’s known to be able to kind of get it out there.”

He added: “We were very lucky in Coleraine that the Brook Care Home is a magnificent home which caters for dementia.

“Mum is now in there coming up to two years and she’s much more settled; she has a much better quality of life. My father has been able to reclaim a lot of his life and he goes in on a daily basis and she knows him.”

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