Barbara Windsor's husband heartbroken as she moves into care home amid dementia battle
3 August 2020, 12:02
Barbara Windsor has been moved to a care home following advice from her neurologist.
Barbara Windsor, 82, has moved into a care home amid her dementia battle.
The iconic EastEnders star's husband, Scott, has been left heartbroken over the decision, saying it "feels like a bereavement".
The move came two weeks ago after Scott took the advice of the actress' neurologist to move her to a full time residential care home.
Talking to The Sun about the painful decision, Scott said: "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.
"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."
He went on to say that this has been his biggest fear, worrying that she would be thinking 'why would he do this to me?'.
He said: "That fear has become a reality. It’s something I never wanted.”
Scott was advised by Dr Angus Kennedy to make the transition as stress-free as possible, he should tell Barbara she was going somewhere for a few days while her medication was changed.
Scott said: "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.”
Scott said that Barbara is "still unsettled", and that "in her lucid moments" she has worked out this is not temporary.
He went on: "She’s still thinking and saying I’ve let her down. Of course that’s a painful thing to hear, but I know it’s not the Barbara I know speaking.
"And, let’s be honest, who else is she going to blame? I just have to smile and tell her I love her and everything I do is for her best wellbeing. I am no different to millions of other people who would have experienced this.”
Barbara has a carer with her 24/7 for the first few weeks in the new home, and Scott said he put up family pictures in her room to make her feel more at comfortable.
Speaking of the day he drove home after dropping her off, Scott said: "It was a draining day, emotionally. I tried to keep upbeat and composed, because I didn’t want to distress her, but inside I was really hurting.
“When I left, I’d driven about a quarter of a mile before I had tears streaming down my face."
He went on: "I’ll never forget the feeling of emptiness.
“I felt sick in the pit of my stomach that I’d left her. I still feel like that.
“By the time I got home and went to bed, I just felt desperately sad.
“It’s been 27 years since we met and we spent so much of that time in each other’s company. It feels like another chapter has gone.”
Scott still regularly visits his wife, saying the first day he went to see her after she moved in, her face lit up as she greeted him by saying: "Oh it’s my husband!"
Barbara was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's six years ago, but only went public with the news in 2018.