Ruth Langsford has spoken candidly about her father's Alzheimer's battle in the wake of the news that Dame Barbara Windsor has been diagnosed with the disease. The TV presenter opened up to This Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, saying it was quite "frightening" when her father's behaviour began to change.
The 58-year-old's dad Dennis passed away in 2012, after living with Alzheimer's for 13 years. "It's quite frightening, there is also a sense of relief when you're given that diagnosis," she said. "I hope that doesn't sound strange but when you know something is wrong and you've been looking into it and wondering and wondering 'why are they behaving like this?'... when we got that diagnosis as a family, there was an element of relief, [of] 'oh, that's why.' Then we understood it."
Ruth Langsford's husband Eamonn Holmes shared his support to Barbara Windsor
Ruth also said that she thought it was "wonderful" that Barbara's husband Scott had decided to speak so openly about Barbara's condition. "I think it's wonderful that they've come out and talked about this in public and they're getting so much support because I completely understand, particularly Scott's point of view, his reluctance to make this public because you want to protect your family member," she explained.
"My mum was very much like that with my dad, and it actually took my sister and I to persuade her to tell people in the village where they lived. It made such a difference because everybody knew him, when he was maybe behaving out of character people understood. I think people understand a lot more and are a lot more helpful than you think maybe they'd be."
It was announced on Thursday that Dame Barbara Windsor has Alzheimer's
Former EastEnders star Barbara's husband Scott Mitchell revealed her health diagnosis in an interview with The Sun on Thursday, explaining that although she was diagnosed back in 2014, her condition has worsened in the last few months. 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 okay because people will now know that she has Alzheimer's and will accept it for what it is."