‘A Family Disease’: Bruce Willis’ Wife on Actor’s Dementia Diagnosis
By Movieguide® Contributor
Bruce Willis’ wife, Emma Heming Willis, is sharing more details about the actor’s dementia diagnosis and how her family has found “care and love” during this time.
“What I’m learning is that dementia is hard,” Heming explained, per Fox News. “It’s hard on the person diagnosed. It’s also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce or myself or our girls. And when they say that this is a ‘family disease,’ it really is.”
In 2022, Willis’ family announced that he was retiring from acting after receiving an aphasia diagnosis. They have since shared that the diagnosis has been changed to frontotemporal dementia.
“We’re a very honest and open household,” Heming said of how the family is handling the actor’s condition. “The most important thing was … to say what the disease was. Explain what it is because when you know what the disease is from a medical standpoint, it sort of all makes sense.”
She continued, “So, it was important that we let [their daughters, Mabel, 11, and Evelyn, 9] know what it is because, you know, I don’t want there to be any stigma or shame attached to their dad’s diagnosis or for any form of dementia.”
While Heming acknowledged that this is “not what I would want for them,” she said the experience is “teaching them so much in how to care and love…it’s a beautiful thing amongst the sadness.”
Heming has been very open about what life is like as a caretaker for someone with dementia.
“I’m not good,” she said in an Instagram video. “But I have to put my best foot forward for the sake of myself and my family because again, when we are not looking after ourselves, we cannot look after anyone that we love. This is a conscious effort. It does not come to me easily, but I am just doing the best that I can, always.”
Willis’ daughters with ex-wife Demi Moore have also shared their feelings about their father’s diagnosis and how Heming is handling everything.
“I truly could not be more proud of [Emma Heming Willis] for being willing to step out into the public eye, (even though it’s terrifying!!!) to share our family’s story in service of speaking awareness about FTD,” Scout and Tallulah Willis both shared on Instagram.
They continued, “Emma you are such a champion for this cause and you inspire me EVERY SINGLE DAY with your bravery and deep deep loving. Your courage is moving mountains.”
Movieguide® previously reported on Heming’s work as a caretaker:
Emma Willis, Bruce Willis’ wife, shared more about the work she and a specialist are doing to help the actor navigate life with his new frontotemporal dementia (FTD) diagnosis.
Emma revealed that she is working with Teepa Snow, a specialist who works with people who have loved ones with dementia, providing education and hands-on skills.
“I’m grateful I had the opportunity to work with @teepasnows_pac who has helped me add to my dementia care toolbox,” Emma captioned a photo of the pair. “She’s a loving, compassionate and skilled leader in this space who navigates herself with pure empathy. She’s a gift.”
In the post’s comments, Snow praised Willis’ wife for her “absolutely remarkable job of providing the right support for Bruce as his abilities have changed” and for providing him “with what he needs to live well.”