5 Ways To Support A Loved One With Frontotemporal Dementia: Bruce Willis’s New Condition Explained

Action actor Bruce Willis retired from acting in an official statement released by his family on March 2022. At the time, he was battling with aphasia. Fans got much worried about his health when on February 2023, his family came out with a statement about the 67-year-old actor’s diagnosis.

The family’s new statement was signed by not only Bruce’s current wife, Emma Heming, but also ex-wife Demi Moore, and daughters Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn. The page also included what may be a recent photo of Bruce walking along the beach.

Actor Bruce Willis has Frontotemporal Dementia

Bruce Willis’s family gave another update on his health, revealing that he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

In a statement on the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website, the Willis family announced that Bruce was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia or FTD.

“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD),” the statement began.

“Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,” it continued. “For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know.”

The family added, “Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.”

The Willis family statement concluded by thanking fans, friends, and others for their support, saying, “Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same. It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time.”

The family’s new statement was signed by not only Bruce’s current wife, Emma Heming, but also ex-wife Demi Moore, and daughters Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn. The page also included what may be a recent photo of Bruce walking along the beach.

What is Frontotemporal dementia?

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a type of dementia that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It can cause changes in personality, behavior, and language, which can be challenging for both the person with FTD and their loved ones.

According to UCSF Health, symptoms of FTD include difficulty speaking and finding the correct words to describe something; depressive moods; obsessive behaviors; and lack of social tact. Similarly, Mayo Clinic says aphasia, Bruce’s previous diagnosis, also includes symptoms such as having difficulty finding words and speaking in short or incomplete sentences.

As a caregiver, it’s essential to understand the condition and find ways to support your loved one. Here are five ways to support a loved one with frontotemporal dementia:

  1. Learn about the condition

One of the best ways to support a loved one with FTD is to educate yourself about the condition. Understanding the symptoms and how they can impact your loved one’s life can help you provide better care. Some resources that can help you learn more about FTD include:

  • The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration: This nonprofit organization provides information and resources for families and professionals who are affected by FTD.
  • The Alzheimer’s Association: This organization offers a comprehensive guide to frontotemporal dementia, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
  • Frontotemporal Dementia Support Group: This online community offers support and resources for people who are caring for someone with FTD.
  1. Develop a routine

People with FTD can benefit from having a structured routine that helps them maintain a sense of familiarity and predictability. This can involve setting a regular schedule for meals, activities, and rest. It can also include visual reminders, such as a whiteboard with a daily schedule or a digital calendar that sends reminders. Routines can help your loved one feel more secure and reduce anxiety and confusion.

  1. Practice effective communication

People with FTD can experience difficulties with communication, including speaking, understanding language, and nonverbal communication. To support your loved one, try to use simple language, avoid talking too quickly or too loudly, and provide visual cues to help with understanding. Nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions and body language, can also help convey your message.

  1. Seek out support

Caring for someone with FTD can be challenging and overwhelming. It’s essential to seek out support from others who understand what you’re going through. This can involve joining a support group, connecting with other caregivers online, or seeking out respite care to give yourself a break. The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration offers a directory of support groups and resources that can help you find the support you need.

  1. Take care of yourself

Caring for someone with FTD can be emotionally and physically draining. It’s essential to take care of yourself so that you can provide the best care for your loved one. This can involve getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and seeking out counseling or therapy to help you manage your stress and emotions.

In conclusion, caring for a loved one with frontotemporal dementia can be challenging, but there are ways to support them and yourself. By learning about the condition, developing a routine, practicing effective communication, seeking out support, and taking care of yourself, you can provide the best possible care for your loved one with FTD.


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