Timothy West reveals wife Prunella Scales is still “enjoying life” after Alzheimer’s diagnosis

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Prunella Scales is still enjoying life after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, her husband Timothy West has revealed.

The actress, 90, just celebrated her milestone birthday by throwing a huge party with 150 guests and the married couple recently visited the Greek island.

Prunella, best known for playing Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, ended her 67-year acting career in early 2020 after her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.

Making the most of it: Prunella Scales is still enjoying life after her 2014 Alzheimer’s diagnosis, her husband Timothy West has revealed (pictured at The Oldie of the Year Awards)

Speaking about her life now former Corrie star Timothy, 88, told The Mirror at The Oldie of the Year Awards: ‘She’s enjoying life, which is really essential. She likes to do things.

‘We just went on a little boat trip around the Greek islands – we were just enjoying ourselves with no cameras.

“We had a party this year, quite a big party. About 150 people came!’

It comes after their son Samuel, 56, shared an update on Prunella’s health in December 2021.

Nice!  The actress, 90, has just celebrated her milestone birthday with a huge party with 150 guests and the married couple have just visited the Greek island

Nice! The actress, 90, has just celebrated her milestone birthday with a huge party with 150 guests and the married couple have just visited the Greek island

At the time, the actor had interviewed Prunella with the intention of writing a book as her memory begins to fade.

Speaking to The Mirror, Samuel explained: “She still recognizes us and she knows I have two kids so that’s really good.”

Samuel added that despite her deteriorating hearing, which makes conversation difficult, she is “in a good mood.”

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He continued: ‘You can never quite tell with dementia what kind of personality it will leave a person with, but overall she’s quite cheerful. At the moment I’m interviewing them both about their lives, because I want to write a book.’

Star: Prunella, best known for playing Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, ended her 67-year acting career in early 2020 following her 2014 Alzheimer's diagnosis (pictured with son Sam in 2012)

Star: Prunella, best known for playing Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, ended her 67-year acting career in early 2020 following her 2014 Alzheimer’s diagnosis (pictured with son Sam in 2012)

Samuel revealed that he interviewed his father about his life twice a week during the lockdown, before also interviewing his mother so that their memories can be preserved.

However, he added that due to his mother’s lack of short-term memory, the task was more difficult and he had to be very patient.

Prunella and her husband Timothy were forced to quit their TV show Great Canal Journeys on Channel 4 in January 2020 due to her ill health.

They were replaced by Celebrity Gogglebox stars Gyles Brandreth and Sheila Hancock on the Channel 4 show.

Discussing their departure, a source told The Sun at the time, “It’s not a decision Pru and Tim have taken lightly, but they’re really happy it’s Gyles and Sheila.”

Prunella filmed her last show in October 2019, but the couple appeared in more than 30 episodes of the program. The actress became a household name as Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, and the award-winning thespian supported their successors.

The couple said in a statement to the publication: “Good luck Gyles and Sheila. Enjoy the countryside and the pubs.’

Screen legend Prunella revealed in 2013 that she struggled with her memory and couldn’t even remember the year she married her husband – that was 1963.

In a 2015 interview with TUSEN, Tim revealed the heartbreak of watching his wife slip away during her struggle, admitting that while he cherishes the time he has with her, the effects of the illness made communication difficult.

“The sad thing is that all you look at is the gradual disappearance of the person you knew and loved and were very close to,” he said. ‘If you live from day to day, it’s manageable.

“It’s when you start thinking about the past and you think, ‘Oh what a shame she can’t do that anymore,’ or you can’t talk about it anymore.” Then it’s sad.’

Tim and Prunella married in 1963, after meeting on the set of a TV costume drama. Tim had previously been married briefly and had a daughter, Juliet. The couple had two sons: Sam is an actor and his brother Joseph is a translator.

Couple Goals: The couple have been married for nearly six decades (pictured together in 1963)

Couple Goals: The couple have been married for nearly six decades (pictured together in 1963)

Today, Prunella’s short-term memory is severely compromised, as she often cannot remember what she did or said a few minutes earlier.

Tim’s career is still thriving as viewers may best recognize him from the soap opera EastEnders when he was Stan Carter’s patriarch of Albert Square until five years ago.

More recently, he’s been landowner Jeremy Lister in BBC1’s period drama Gentleman Jack this year, and Private Godfrey in a trio of remakes of Dad’s Army.

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WHAT IS DEMENTIA? THE KILLER DISEASE THAT DEPRIVES SUFFERERS OF THEIR MEMORIES

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological conditions

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological conditions

A WORLDWIDE CARE

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological conditions (affecting the brain) that affect memory, thinking, and behavior.

There are many different forms of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common.

Some people have a combination of dementias.

Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person experiences his or her dementia in their own unique way.

Dementia is a global problem, but it is most common in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live very old.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?

The Alzheimer’s Society reports that there are more than 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. This is expected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting between 50 and 75 percent of those diagnosed.

There are an estimated 5.5 million Alzheimer’s patients in the US. A similar percentage increase is expected for the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of developing dementia.

The rate of diagnoses is improving, but many people with dementia are thought to remain undiagnosed.

IS THERE A MEDICINE?

Currently there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow its progression, and the sooner it’s caught, the more effective the treatments are.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association

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