Dame Barbara Windsor speaks out on living with Alzheimer's

Ken Oxley is Media Officer for the Alzheimer’s Society in the North East and Cumbria

Ken Oxley is Media Officer for the Alzheimer’s Society in the North East and Cumbria

Contact: Name: Ken Oxley 0191 2983989 / 07483 926575 


Dame Barbara Windsor speaks out on living with Alzheimer's

The outpouring of love and goodwill towards Dame Barbara Windsor after it was revealed she is living with dementia has been incredibly moving.
Scott Mitchell, her partner of 25 years, went public with the news because he felt being open and transparent would make life easier for the much-loved actress.
He said: “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.”

We could not agree more with that sentiment. Whether or not people living with dementia or their loved ones choose to discuss the condition openly is, of course, a deeply personal decision.

And we would never criticise anyone who, for whatever reason, opts to deal with a diagnosis of dementia in their own, private way.
But talking about it helps to break down stigma, as well as explode some dangerous myths.

Myths such as the notion that a diagnosis is akin to a death sentence. It is not. People can and do live well with dementia – often achieving remarkable things.

Scott said Dame Barbara is “thrilled” to be able to speak about Alzheimer’s disease and to, hopefully, increase awareness.

She has done that and more. After the story broke, donations to Alzheimer’s Society shot up by 30%.

The timing could not have been better. Next week is Dementia Action Week (May 21-27) when we seek to focus the nation’s attention on a condition that will affect one million by 2021.

You can find out more about Dementia Action Week by visiting our website.

Notes to editors:

  • Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading dementia charity. We provide information and support, fund research, campaign to improve care and create lasting change for people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Dementia devastates lives. Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia. By 2021, 1 million people will be living with the condition. This will soar to two million by 2051.
  • Dementia deaths are rising year on year and 225,000 will develop dementia this year - that’s one every three minutes.
  • Dementia costs the UK economy over £26 billion per year. This is the equivalent of more than £30,000 per person with dementia. 
  • Alzheimer’s Society funds research into the cause, care, cure and prevention of all types of dementia and has committed to spend at least £150 million on research over the next decade. This includes a £50 million investment in the UK's first dedicated Dementia Research Institute.
  • Until the day we find a cure, Alzheimer's Society will be here for anyone affected by dementia - wherever they are, whatever they're going through. Everything we do is informed and inspired by them.
  • Let's take on dementia together. Volunteer. Donate. Campaign for change. Whatever you do, unite with us against dementia. 
  • Alzheimer’s Society relies on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0330 333 0804 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk.  
  • Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk  
  • Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @Alzheimerssoc
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Alzheimer’s Society YouTube channel www.youtube.com/AlzheimersSociety

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