Linda Robson has revealed that she wants to be ‘suffocated with a pillow’ by her kids if she ever develops dementia.
The Loose Women star, 65, has also admitted that she refuses to be tested for the early signs of the syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning.
Linda watched her mum, Rita, suffer from dementia and stomach cancer, going down to five stone and being given bed baths, before she died aged 75, in 2021.
Speaking candidly about her feelings towards the possibility of developing the condition herself, the mum-of-three insisted she would want her children – Roberta, 27, Louis, 31, and Lauren, 40 – to end her life.
Linda told The Mirror: ‘I said in the meeting [with Loose Women producers], ”I want them to put a pillow over my face” and they said ”you can’t say that on TV”.
Candid: Linda Robson, 65, has revealed that she wants to be ‘suffocated with a pillow’ by her kids if she ever develops dementia
Ignorance is bliss: The Loose Women star also admitted she refuses to be tested for the early signs of the syndrome (Pictured with daughter Lauren, 40)
Real talk: Speaking candidly, the mum-of-three insisted she would want her children – Roberta, 27, Louis, 31, and Lauren, 40 – to end her life (Pictured with son Louis, 31)
‘That’s what I feel like. That’s my biggest fear – dementia. I would rather not know if I had it.’
The Birds Of A Feather actress also stated that she wouldn’t consider using an end-of-life clinic such as Dignitas in Switzerland, confessing: ‘I told my kids, put me in a home.’
Back in 2016, Linda spoke to Daily Mail about her experience of her mother’s deterioration, saying: ‘The dementia started with little things, as it does, forgetfulness, her just being a bit odd.
‘She was always such a meticulous woman – so neat and tidy and well-presented, but she’d lose things, not dress herself. And it went gradually downhill, to the point where she couldn’t be on her own.’
There were other issues than her dementia, including a growth in her stomach pointed to cancer – but she was too weak to survive treatment.
Linda recalled: ‘They told us they could do the tests, but that even if it was cancer, which it looked like, mum wasn’t strong enough for treatment.
‘It was horrible, being in that position, realising that there was no hope, but we also knew we couldn’t put her through any more.’
Rita spent the last few months of her life in a hospice run by the charity Marie Curie. Linda has since become an ambassador for the charity, so emotionally indebted did her family become.
Wow: ‘I said in the meeting [with Loose Women producers], ”I want them to put a pillow over my face” and they said ”you can’t say that on TV”.’ (Pictured with daughter Roberta, 27)
Heartbreaking: Linda watched her mum, Rita, suffer from dementia and stomach cancer, going down to five stone and being given bed baths, before she died aged 75, in 2021
She revealed: ‘I was actually against her going into a hospice in the first place. I thought it would be a terrible place, so depressing and downbeat, but when we actually went I changed my mind. It was the nicest place you can imagine, and I cannot tell you what good care they took of my mum, of all of us, actually.
‘They just scooped up the whole family and got us through it. I think they took away that fear of death for us all. We got to know a lot of the other families, and saw other people die there, but it wasn’t an awful thing. It became easier to accept.’
‘Watching Rita’s decline was pitiful. ‘She was such a private person, and very proud. She’d have hated a lot of it – having to wear nappies, being hoisted out of bed, having the nurses wash her.
‘In a way, I was glad she wasn’t aware of what was going on. But they treated her with such dignity. I remember I’d go in and someone would be sitting playing cards with her. She couldn’t actually play cards – they were just shuffling them and handing them to her – but such patience! Nothing was too much trouble.’
WHAT IS DEMENTIA?
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 types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.
Some people may have a combination of different types of dementia.
Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience 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 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. This is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting between 50 and 75 per cent of those diagnosed.
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 can be.
Source: Alzheimer’s Society