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Dame Barbara Windsor has been moved into a full-time residential care home by her heartbroken husband Scott Mitchell.
The 82 year old former EastEnders actress was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and 2014 but her condition has worsened in lockdown.
Actress Barbara, who played Peggy Mitchell on the BBC soap, moved to the home two weeks ago, after her neurologist advised her husbands to place her in full time residential care.
Revealing the news, Barbara’s 57 year old husband told The Sun: “I have been used to hustle and bustle in this little space, then suddenly, silence . . . all you can hear are your thoughts, and that’s not always healthy.
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“I feel I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. I walk around, trying to keep busy, then burst in to tears. It feels like a bereavement.
"It’s always been my biggest fear, that one day I would have to take her somewhere and she’d be thinking, ‘Why would he do this to me?’
“That fear has become a reality. It’s something I never wanted.”
After he stopped to fight back tears, he continued: “Sorry, it’s still so raw. I always said we were like two little munchkins in our little house . . . and now there’s just one munchkin.”
Scott revealed he was advised by her neurologist, Dr Angus Kennedy, to tell Barbara she needed to stay somewhere for a few days while the doctors changed her medication.
Barbara’s husband explained: “Walking out of the house that day was an incredibly tough thing to do because, the reality is, I doubt if Barbara will ever return. She didn’t know that as we were driving off, but I did. It was an awful feeling.”
Once they arrived at the care home in London, staff greeted Barbara and placed her in a wheelchair as she has had trouble walking recently.
He revealed: “Whilst I was parking the car, they wheeled her through reception and, apparently, she was blowing kisses to some of the other residents, insisting she be taken over so that she could kiss their hands!
“They didn’t let her because she had to self-isolate for two weeks because of Covid, but I felt heartened because it’s so Barbara and I hope that now she’s allowed to mix with everyone, she’ll settle more.“
Scott explained how the Carry On star’s condition had worsened during lockdown.
He said: “The easiest way for me to explain lockdown to Barbara was to tell her that the theatres had to close down,” says Scott.
“But she would forget the conversation and I’d have to keep telling her. I could see she was having complete blanks. She’d be looking around the room, full of everything that belongs to her, and I could tell it was completely alien to her.
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“Two nights before I took her to the home, she looked at me quizzically and said, ‘You’re very nice,’ then, ‘What’s your name again?’
“She also became a lot more frail. Her walking was very unsteady and she would get breathless walking from the kitchen to the lounge.
“We don’t have space for certain facilities here; like hoists to get her in to the bath. So that was becoming increasingly difficult.”
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