Dame Barbara Windsor’s widower Scott Mitchell has backed our campaign to encourage people to talk openly about their loved ones living with dementia.
Barbara, best known for her roles in Eastenders and Carry On films, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014 and died in 2020.
Speaking to Lorraine Kelly and daughter Rosie during a special podcast episode of ‘What If?’, sponsored by Home Instead, Scott said: “It’s really important we speak about these things – we don’t want to feel we have to hide our loved ones away because they have dementia.
“I didn’t want Barbara to be a prisoner in the house, I wanted her to go out and if people did come up to her and maybe she wasn’t quite as they expected, they would know why.”
As part of the exclusive sponsorship of the podcast, we highlight messages around the importance of talking openly about caring for loved ones.
Scott said: “If you’re caring for anyone in any capacity it can be difficult but with dementia you’ve got this mentally draining side where you will be answering the same questions over and over again and no matter how much you love someone, at some point you’re going to be tired yourself or get irritable.
“My advice to anyone who’s in two minds about having care in, I’d say please, please don’t hesitate, and in many ways, maybe start it as early as you can so they can get used to it before it gets too far down the line.”
Scott also expressed his gratitude for the care workers who came in to support Barbara at home.
“Most important to me were those people who came to our home to help us,” he said. “That was such an incredible, incredible gift. I always refer to you all as ‘angels’ because that’s what I believe you are when you become part of a family and you care for somebody who’s not your own family, but they could be in the love and kindness that you show them. A heartfelt thanks and please continue it, we all need it desperately.”
Listen to the podcast episode here podfollow.com/what-if-with-lorraine-rosie
Scott’s new book, ‘By your side: My Life Loving Barbara Windsor’ is out now.
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