Actress Jill Gascoine is in “very advanced stage of her Alzheimer’s”, her husband has confirmed.
Gascoine played British TV’s first female screen detective, Maggie Forbes in the ground-breaking 1980’s series, The Gentle Touch.
First diagnosed with dementia in 2013, her husband, the actor Alfred Molina, has confirmed that Gascoine is now in the late stages of the disease.
Describing dementia as “a cowardly disease”. Molina explained how the late diagnosis of the disease had left Gascoine with very little time to prepare herself.
In an interview in the Radio Times, he said: “It’s not like cancer or an illness that announces itself. With cancer you’ve got a fighting chance, you can gather your resources and focus on it and, with luck, you can conquer it. Alzheimer’s is a cowardly disease. It creeps up on you from behind and by the time you realise you’ve got it you’re probably not realising much else.”
In the UK 850,000 people live with dementia and this figure is expected to reach around two million by 2051.
As Molina says, dementia does not announce itself. Often sufferers put the early symptoms of dementia such as memory loss and difficulty with problem-solving down to old age. By the time your loved ones realise you have a disease, you may have technically lost the capacity to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). That’s why we recommend everyone has an LPA in place no matter what their state of health.