Barbara Windsor health latest: How is Dame Barbara Windsor as she celebrates 83rd birthday

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Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2014 but did not go public with her diagnoses until 2018 when her condition had worsened. Unfortunately, the television star was moved to a care home recently as her condition had worsened.

Her husband Scott Mitchell said the former EastEnders star has been there since mid-July.

He said: “I feel I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. I walk around, trying to keep busy, then burst into 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.”

Mr Mitchell, 57, had said in June that his wife would need full-time care at some stage in her illness.

He added at the time that she often did not recognise their home and she has recently had trouble walking, prompting her to use a wheelchair.

This week he said: “She still seems unsettled and, in her lucid moments, I can see she’s worked out this isn’t temporary.

“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.”

In order to make her new room feel more like home, he has filled it with things that are familiar to Barbara, as well as special pictures to remind her of people and events.

Mr Mitchell added: “By the time I got home and went to bed, I just felt desperately sad.

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“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.”

Recalling the moment when the couple were told of the diagnosis, he said: “She began crying then held it back, stretched her hand out to me and mouthed ‘I’m so sorry’.

“I squeezed her hand back and said: ‘Don’t worry, we’ll be OK’.”

Mr Mitchell, who has been married to Dame Barbara for 20 years, said the symptoms first arrived in 2009 when she was still working.

He said she had begun to forget her lines, and by 2016 her forgetfulness and confusion meant she had to stop working permanently.

In September last year, the couple delivered a letter to Downing Street signed by 100,000 people, requesting better support for people with Alzheimer’s.

Dame Barbara also spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson about her condition in the No10 Rose Garden.

The letter said dementia care across the country was “difficult and in some places even impossible to access”.

The veteran of film and TV was made an MBE in 2000 and a dame in 2015 for services to drama.

Dame Barbara appeared in nine Carry On films and played the pub landlord Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders.

She appeared in Eastenders until 2016 and is still synonymous with the soap for many to this day.

The actress first appeared on stage at the age of 13 in a pantomime and was soon performing in the West End musical Love From Judy.

In 1964 she worked on her first Carry On film – Carry on Spying.

She was also in sitcoms including Dad’s Army and One Foot in the Grave.

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