Dame Barbara Windsor health update as EastEnders legend celebrates 83rd birthday

EastEnders star Dame Barbara Windsor, known for her role as Queen Vic matriarch Peggy Mitchell, has turned 83 years old tonight.

In recent years, her health has deteriorated due to her battle with Alzheimer's, which was diagnosed back in 2014.

Sadly for Barbara and her loved ones, her condition worsened recently and she was moved into a residential care home.

Her devastated husband Scott Mitchell explained that she has been living there since the middle of July.

Scott said: "I feel like 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."

Scott, 57, had envisioned Barbara having to move into a care home though as he watched her deteriorate.

Speaking 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."

Scott has filled Barbara's room with things to make her feel at home, including special photos to remind her of people and past events.

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Barbara's Alzheimer's disease diagnosis was announced in May 2018 by Scott, after she was diagnosed in April 2014.

In the years that followed, Scott explained that there were moments during which Barbara didn't recognise him.

Last year, on Barbara's 82nd birthday, she and her husband became ambassadors for the Alzheimer's Society.

They appeared in a video for the charity which highlighted the problems that those who suffer from Azlheimer's may encounter.

Barbara also urged those who watched to sign a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he "urgently needs to address these challenges".

Today, Barbara's fans have been celebrating the icon's birthday on social media.

One tweeted: "The word National Treasure gets thrown around a lot, but when it comes to Dame Babs, it's true and elevated to a higher level. Happy birthday."

And another wrote: "Happy birthday to one of the most inspirational actresses to grace our lives – Dame Barbara Windsor. Thinking of you and Scott today and watching some of your greatest EastEnders moments."

  • Eastenders
  • Barbara Windsor

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