Bruce Willis’ wife Emma Heming revealed the profound impact of his dementia on the family recently. The rare form of dementia the actor has is called frontotemporal dementia. Recently she spoke about the impact it has had on the family in a tearful narration.
Speaking on Today’s Show in New York she said dementia is hard, not just on the person diagnosed but a lot of it on the family too. It is a collective suffering she said.
“And when they say this is a family disease, it really is.”
Bruce and Heming have been married since 2009 and share two daughters, Mabel, 11 and Evelyn, 9.
Heming told Hoda Kotb, the show’s host that the most important thing for her was to be open and honest in the household. To say what the disease is is the main thing and to explain it from a medical standpoint so it all makes sense.
Bruce and the diagnosis
“So, it was important that we let them know what it is because, you know, I don’t want there to be any stigma or shame attached to their dad’s diagnosis or for any form of dementia. This is not what I would want for them. It’s teaching them so much – in how to care and love. It’s a beautiful thing amongst the sadness.”
She also said that the diagnosis was in a way a relief as they then knew what was wrong.
CEO for the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration Susan Dickinson was also present on the show and provided some insight into the disease.
She said it takes four years to be properly and accurately diagnosed because it is often mistaken or misdiagnosed with things like depression or bipolar disorder because of the behavioural changes. It can also be mistaken for Parkinson’s disease at time due to mobility issues.
Willis who is 68-years-old also has three other daughter from his previous marriage to Demi Moore; Rumer, 35, Scout, 32 and Tallulah, 29.
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