Hemming Willis, who has been married to the actor since 2009 and shares two daughters with him, said it’s important to give her husband his space when he’s out and about.
She said, “Please don’t yell at my husband, asking him how he’s doing.” “Let our family or whoever is with him that day be able to get him from point A to point B safely.”
Willis family announced last month The 67-year-old has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, or FTD. The announcement came about a year after he retired from acting, citing a communication disorder known as aphasia, which has since developed. There is no cure or cure for FTD, which mostly affects people between the ages of 40 and 60.
Hemming Willis said her husband had recently been harassed by paparazzi seeking to take photos of the star meeting friends for coffee. She commended Willis’ friends for taking “preventative work to protect him” and explained how “stressful and difficult” it can be for loved ones and carers to help those with the disease navigate the world.
Any tips or advice on how to get your loved one out into the world safely? Hemming Willis asked. Many in the comments praised her honesty and attempt to raise awareness of the disease.
Bruce Willis suffers from frontotemporal dementia: what are the symptoms of frontotemporal dementia?
Neurologists say that people with FTD may need additional support with daily activities as the disease progresses. Patients may also need assistance with physical safety and communication.
Experts said FTD symptoms can include changes in behavior, speech, or movement. Patients can have Willis-like aphasia, which can cause them to struggle to understand or produce language.
The actor’s family said in February that he was experiencing communication challenges, among many other symptoms of the disease. “Although this is painful, it is such a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,” reads the statement from Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi Moore, and their five daughters.
The family said that the “public sympathy, understanding and respect” would help them support Willis in living “as full of life as possible”.
Richard Sima, Clean Song, Caitlin Gilbert, and Marilyn Simmons contributed to this report.
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