It’s unclear to what extent Bruce Willis is aware of his cognitive decline, according to his wife.
Emma Heming Willis told NBC’s “Today” her husband’s battle with dementia has been difficult on her and the couple’s daughters — 11-year-old Mabel and 9-year-old Evelyn — as well as the “Die Hard” star himself. She’s not sure how in tune the 68-year-old actor is with the situation.
“It’s hard to know,” the 45-year-old model and entrepreneur said.
Willis’ family said in March 2022 that the action hero had been diagnosed with aphasia. In February, they said his condition had worsened to frontotemporal dementia. Heming Willis spoke to “Today” to mark the start of World Frontotemporal Dementia Awareness Week.
Heming Willis called her box-office busting husband “the gift that keeps on giving” Monday and said he continues being a mentor to their children by demonstrating “patience and resilience.” The pair married in 2009.
While there’s no cure for Willis’ condition, Heming Willis stressed the importance of understanding the symptoms of frontotemporal dementia so their children have insight into what he’s experiencing.
“I don’t want there to be any stigma or shame attached to their dad’s diagnosis or any form of dementia,” she said.
The National Institute on Ageing (NIA) lists unusual behavior, emotional issues, trouble communicating and difficulty walking as complications of frontotemporal dementia.
Though rare, Willis’ specific affliction impacts younger people than other forms of dementia. The majority of those affected are between 45 and 64 years of age, the NIA reports.
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