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Bruce Willis’ daughter Tallulah Willis has admitted that her family missed the early signs of the actor’s dementia.
Earlier this year the 68-year-old Die Hard star’s loved ones announced that he had been diagnosed with the illness.
But now Tallulah, 29, who Bruce shares with his ex-wife Demi Moore, has said that she knew “something was wrong” with her father for quite some time as he had been long showing signs of “vague unresponsiveness”.
However, she said she and her family simply put his unresponsiveness down to time spent on film sets having affected his hearing.
In a new essay she wrote for Vogue, Tallulah said the “unresponsiveness broadened” over time and that she had taken “it personally” and thought he’d simply “lost interest” in her because he had two younger children with her step-mother, Emma Hemming Willis.
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Not reallising he was suffering with dementia, Tallulah, who was also in “denial” over her father’s illness, added: “My family announced in early 2022 that Bruce Willis was suffering from aphasia, a brain-mediated inability to speak or to understand speech, and we learned earlier this year that that symptom was a feature of frontotemporal dementia, a progressive neurological disorder that chips away at his cognition and behaviour day by day.”
The family had issued a statement last year which said that Bruce had been diagnosed with the medical condition aphasia, adding that it was “impacting his cognitive abilities”. It was also announced that he would be retiring.
They gave an update in February of this year, revealing that his condition had “progressed” and that he had since been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, which is known as FTD.
According to the NHS, frontotemporal dementia “causes problems with behaviour and language” and develops slowly and gradually over time.
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On Sunday, his wife Emma candidly opened up about her mental health while caring for the actor.
She explained that her own thought spirals as a care partner can be “very much doom and gloom” and wanted to help others who may be in the same mental space, adding on Instagram: “I know it looks like I’m out living my best life – I have to make a conscious effort every single day to live the best life that I can.”
As she choked back tears, the 45-year-old continued: “I do that for myself, I do that for our two children and… Bruce who would not want me to live any other way.”
“I don’t want it to be misconstrued that I’m good, cause I’m not, I’m not good but I have to put my best foot forward for myself and my family.”
Alongside caring for Bruce and their two children, 11-year-old Mabel and nine-year-old Evelyn, Emma has used her platform and new experience as a care partner to help share resources, advice, and expert insight with others caring for loved ones with dementia.
Bruce also became a grandfather for the first time in April when his eldest daughter Rumer, who he also shares with his ex-wife Demi, welcomed her daughter Louetta.
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