West End star Ruthie Henshall has said she will ‘fight for the right’ to see her dementia-stricken mother in her care home after an upsetting Facetime call.
The actress, 53, who took part on 2020’s series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, said her mother Gloria, who’s in her eighties, ‘never said a word or even smiled’ during the call – as she vowed to continue to push for people to be allowed to visit elderly relatives in care homes during lockdown.
Henshall told her followers on Twitter: ‘I had a Facetime with my mum Gloria today. She never said a word or even smiled. I am going on BBC news and ITV news this week to fight for the right to see my mummy.’
On Instagram she added that it was a ‘postcode lottery as to whether you can see your relative. Some care homes are allowing visits and some are not.’
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West End star Ruthie, 53, revealed how she’d had a distrssing Facetime call with her mum Gloria, who suffers from dementia and is in her 80s, in her care home (mother and daughter pictured before lockdown)
Decline: I’m a Celeb contestant Ruthie wrote that her mum Gloria, who is in her 80s, ‘never said a word or even smiled’ during their most recent call – and called the current visiting situation for families of people in care home a ‘postcode lottery’
Two weeks ago, the star slammed the government after learning her mother is yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, despite being in the highest-risk category.
The West End star shared contrasting photos of her mum before lockdown and since she’s been unable to have visits from close family due to Covid restrictions.
In one image, Gloria, is beaming happily, while the second photograph saw her present state ‘unable to walk or talk’ after deteriorating rapidly in the past few months.
Ruthie explained that the first image portrayed her mother prior to lockdown, with the second one taken of her after four months of isolation in her room at the care home, after 13 of her fellow residents died from COVID-19.
Ruthie Henshall said she wouldn’t give up fighting to see ‘my mummy’; two weeks ago she slammed the government after learning her mother has yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, despite being in the highest-risk group
She wrote: ‘I am furious and devastated. My mother has dementia. The first picture is my mother in the home she is in just before 1st lockdown.
‘The second is my mother after 4 months of being confined to her room because COVID was killing residents in the home. 13 died.
‘When my mother went into the lockdown she was walking and talking. She now can do neither. I am not allowed to see her. Only 1 member from each family can go, the same one each time.
‘You wanna know why I’m so angry? She hasn’t even had the vaccine yet! Neither have the brilliant tireless carers. I cried today when I found out this!’
In January, the West End star, 53, took to Instagram and Twitter to share two snaps of her mum, Gloria, who suffers from dementia. In one, Gloria, who is in her 80s, was beaming happily. The second saw her, still smiling, but looking noticeably less healthy [the latter is pictured]
‘Simply unbearable!’ Ruthie explained that the first image portrayed her mother prior to lockdown, with the second one taken of her after four months of isolation in her room at the care home, after 13 of her fellow residents died from COVID-19
Tagging the UK government on Twitter, Ruthie went on: ‘What are you playing at? You said care homes were a priority!
‘I haven’t seen my mother in months and I have no idea if she will even know who I am when I do. Sort this out! It is unbearable. Simply unbearable!’ [sic]
MailOnline has contacted a representative for Ruthie for comment.
Gloria falls into various eligible categories for receiving the vaccine, which the government began rolling out at the start of January.
The NHS is prioritsing people aged 80 and over, people who live or work in care homes, and health and social care workers at high risk.
Pre-lockdown: Gloria is pictured prior to spending four months in isolation in her care home room
Concerned: Ruthie spoke about Gloria’s diagnosis in October last year
Gloria is over 80, has a medical condition and lives in a care home.
The NHS website also states: ‘Wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.’
Ruthie spoke about Gloria’s diagnosis in October last year.
She explained how she helps her father care for Gloria – who has evidently since been relocated to a home.
Speaking to the East Anglia Daily Times, she said: ‘Dad is 87. Normally you would never know it but there are days when I see him and he looks exhausted just looking after Mum.
‘She gets up at all times of the night and of course Dad can’t let her wander off by herself and so has to get up as well and that means he’s never getting a full night’s sleep. So I am really pleased to be close, so I can at least help out – give him a bit of respite.’
Last year: Ruthie is pictured with Sir Mo Farah, Victoria Derbyshire and Vernon Kay during the 2020 season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in Wales
Of dementia’s ‘unfair’ and ‘cruel’ nature, she said: ‘Mum has always been very active. She’s always kept herself fit. She’s bright and intelligent. Been an inspirational teacher all her life and then suddenly, out of nowhere, comes this awful disease.
‘It’s hard to reconcile. Life seems so unfair at times.
‘It seems a really random condition as well. It’s hard to make sense of it.
‘There are times when her long-term memory seems absolutely razor sharp but she can’t remember what you said to her five minutes ago or what she did yesterday. It’s such a cruel disease.’
Ruthie is herself a mother to two girls – Lily, 17, and Dolly, 15.
She became tearful talking about them after her eviction from the I’m A Celeb castle last year, saying: ‘As a mother, all you think about are the things you do wrong, you never think about all the things you do right.
‘You have to be good cop, bad cop and try to figure out how to deal with each situation, sometimes you just wish there was someone else there to help deal with it.’
Ruthie shares her daughters with singer and actor Tim Howar, whom she split from in 2010.
WHAT IS DEMENTIA? THE KILLER DISEASE THAT ROBS SUFFERERS OF THEIR MEMORIES
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders
A GLOBAL CONCERN
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (those affecting the brain) which impact memory, thinking and behaviour.
There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.
Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.
Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.
Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?
The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer’s.
It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million.
In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.
As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.
Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.
IS THERE A CURE?
Currently there is no cure for dementia.
But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted the more effective treatments are.
Source: Alzheimer’s Society