Bruce Willis daughter opens up about when her fathers dementia started to show

Bruce Willis: Dr Amir discusses frontotemporal dementia

In February, Bruce Willis was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, but his 29-year-old daughter knew something was up with her father for a “long time”.

Sharing her experience to Vogue, Tallulah penned: “It started out with a kind of vague unresponsiveness.”

Chalking up Bruce’s behaviour to hearing loss, the family would quip to each other: “Speak up! Die Hard [the film] messed with Dad’s ears.”

Yet, later that “unresponsiveness broadened”, Tallulah noted. “And I sometimes took it personally.”

The daughter of Demi Moore recognised that her dad was “quietly struggling”.

Tallulah revealed: “All kinds of cognitive testing was being conducted, but we didn’t have an acronym yet.”

In summer 2021, Tallulah had the painful realisation that her father’s health was rapidly declining.

Sitting at a beautiful wedding, watching the bride’s father give a moving speech, it dawned on Tallulah she “would never get that moment”.

Tallulah wrote: “It was devastating. I left the dinner table, stepped outside, and wept in the bushes.”

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Aware that “trials are looming” in terms of her father’s declining health, she understands “this is the beginning of grief”.

Tallulah shared: “I find that I’m trying to document, to build a record for the day when he isn’t there to remind me of him and of us.”

She added: “He may always know who I am, give or take the occasional bad day.”

Frontotemporal dementia

The NHS says frontotemporal dementia can lead to personality and behaviour changes, language problems, and memory issues.

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A person who develops this type of dementia may act inappropriately or impulsively, appearing selfish or unsympathetic, neglecting personal hygiene, and overeating.

There can be language problems, such as speaking slowly, struggling to make the right sounds when saying a word, or using words incorrectly.

In March of this year, Bruce retired from acting stating aphasia as the cause, which is difficulty with language and speech.

Another sign of frontotemporal dementia is when there are “problems with mental abilities”, such as struggling with planning and organisation.

Speak to a GP if you suspect symptoms of dementia in you or a loved one.

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