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31st Jan 2024

Demi Moore shares touching message for families of dementia sufferers following Bruce Willis’ diagnosis

Jody Coffey

demi moore and bruce willis dementia

Bruce Willis was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2023

Dementia refers to several diseases that affect memory, thinking, and the ability to perform daily activities.

It’s a condition that not only the person with the diagnosis suffers from, but also the families of those living with dementia.

Credit: Getty

The disease can change family dynamics, leave people socially isolated, and also affect both the health and finances of family and/or carers.

Last year, it was revealed that Hollywood actor, Bruce Willis, 68, had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, also known as FTD.

The Die Hard actor was married to Demi Moore from 1987 until 2000, welcoming three daughters together, Rumer, Tallulah, and Scout.

They have remained close friends since their split.

While appearing on Andy Cohen‘s SiriusXM show, the actress was asked: “What message do you have for people out there who have family members who have dementia? Who are maybe caring for them or in their lives?”

Demi admitted that she has learned to ‘take in the joy and the love’ of who her ex-husband is now.

I think the most important thing I could share is just to meet them where they’re at.

When you let go of who they’ve been or who you think they [should be], or who even you would like them to be, you can then really stay in the present and take in the joy and the love that is present and there for all that they are, not all that they’re not.

Demi Moore – Sirius XM, Radio Andy

In 2022, Bruce was diagnosed with aphasia, a brain condition that affects your ability to communicate, as confirmed by family.

The following year, Bruce’s wife, Emma Heming Willis, announced that he had received an official diagnosis in that his condition had progressed to FTD.

While she admitted it was a devastating health update, it was something that gave her and their family a ‘deeper understanding’ of what the actor was and is still experiencing.

Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis.

In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing. 

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. 

Emma Heming Willis, Instagram

Emma and Bruce share two daughters, Mabel Ray, 11, and Evelyn Penn, 9.

According to the Association of Frontotemporal Dengenetation, it is the most common form of dementia for people under the age of 60.

The progression of symptoms in behaviour, language, and/or movement can vary from person to person.

However, in general, FTD brings an inevitable decline in functioning, with the length of progression varying from two to over 20 years.

A person with FTS may experience difficulty with their organisational skills, may behave out of character or inappropriately in social settings, and/or have trouble communicating or relating to others, even their loved ones.

According to Hopkins Medicine, the early symptoms of FTD include changes in personality and behaviour, progressive loss of speech and language skills, and sometimes physical symptoms such as tremors or spasms.