Dame Barbara Windsor is “thrilled” that speaking out about having Alzheimer’s disease is helping people, the actress’s friend Jane Moore has said.
Moore conducted the interview with Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell in which he revealed she had been diagnosed with disease.
The broadcaster and journalist told ITV’s Loose Women: “Barbara’s issue at the minute, the storm that she’s going through – the latest deterioration – is her short-term memory is not great.
“So, one of Scott’s issues was that he discussed it with Barbara and her specialist about going public, because it was going to make her life easier.
“When she did see the response, she was a bit overwhelmed and got a bit tearful, because I guess she had almost forgotten it was going to happen.
“But he said with all the responses, every time he shows them to her, she just gets so thrilled and she just keeps saying, ‘I’m helping people’.”
Moore said that the Alzheimer’s Society said that donations “went up by a third” following Dame Barbara’s revelation.
“Considering about 850,000 people have either got dementia or Alzheimer’s in this country, and I think it’s one of those conditions that people don’t talk about, there is a bit of a stigma,” she added.
“So when somebody like Barbara – so high profile and bubbly and vivacious – comes out very bravely and says ‘I’ve got this’, it makes huge in-roads for a lot of people in this country. The response has been amazing.”
Dame Barbara, 80, first learned she had Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, but Mr Mitchell revealed last week that she had been keeping it a secret until now, as her symptoms have recently grown worse.
In an emotional interview with Moore in The Sun, Mr Mitchell, 55, said he wanted to set the record straight amid rumours in showbusiness circles about her deteriorating health.
He said: “Since her 80th birthday last August, a definite continual confusion has set in, so it’s becoming a lot more difficult for us to hide.
“I’m doing this because I want us to be able to go out and, if something isn’t quite right, it will be OK because people will now know that she has Alzheimer’s and will accept it for what it is.”