Increased awareness of Alzheimer’s as Dame Barbara Windsor confirms diagnosis

Alzheimer's Disease Awareness written on a chalk board with white chalk. Purple ribbon on left hand sideDame Barbara Windsor, famed actress and one of Britain’s favourite TV personalities, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, her husband has revealed. Windsor was initially diagnosed in 2014 after a series a series of mental agility tests, brain scans and a lumbar puncture. Windsor immediately turned to her husband to say, “I’m so sorry” and has taken time to come to terms with the diagnosis. In 2016 she left her role in EastEnders, after playing beloved pub landlady Peggy Mitchell for over two decades. Her family has now chosen to go public as the symptoms have worsened, and hope to raise awareness of how the disease affects people.

There are many symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and although there is no cure, an early diagnosis means more time to come to terms with the disease and manage future care options, as well as financial and legal matters.

Signs of Alzheimer’s

  1. Inability to recall recent events – Memory is complex, and therefore a person with Alzheimer’s might remember their childhood, or skills like playing an instrument, but unable to recall recent occurrences like a meal or a conversation. This can also become evident if the person starts to prepare a meal just after eating or puts their coat on to go out again after they have just returned.
  2. Struggling with everyday tasks – When someone is struggling to do things that should be intuitive, such as understanding a clock or calendar, it could be a symptom of Alzheimer’s.
  3. Becoming repetitive in behaviour or conversation – This is a common early symptom that can get overlooked. The person affected may go back to tasks they have already done, repeat stories, or ask questions that have already been answered.
  4. Difficulty communicating – Alzheimer’s often makes it difficult to find the right words, or it can cause speech to be slower. The person affected could also mix up different words or phrases, and their sentences could become difficult to understand.
  5. Mood swings or anger outbursts – Many of the above issues are incredibly frustrating. Not remembering simple things and struggling to communicate can lead to anxiety, but as Alzheimer’s develops it often means the person affected no longer recognises the faces of family and friends and this can lead to anger. It’s also common for a person with Alzheimer’s to think items they have misplaced or lost years ago have been stolen.

Issues related to Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s will affect every aspect of life for the person affected. Over time, their care needs will become more complex and they will not be able to manage their own financial affairs. This is where you may need to contact a specialist dementia solicitor who understands Alzheimer’s and the issues surrounding it. Whether it’s making arrangements for long-term care, undertaking background checks of independent carers, or dealing with financial and legal concerns, you will need professional help to manage it all.

What to do if you or a loved one is affected

With Romain Coleman mental health solicitors, you will get the legal support you need if you or a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. With one-to-one support and a network of specialist care advocates, you can be confident that your concerns will be taken seriously. As experienced London solicitors for the elderly, we know how dementia affects everyone differently and will design our service to meet your individual needs.

To discuss your circumstances regarding Alzheimer’s or dementia with a specialist dementia solicitor, call Romain Coleman on 0208 520 4555 or use our Simple Online Form.