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Coronation Street actress Julie Goodyear is ‘slowly disappearing’, says husband

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The husband of Coronation Street star Julie Goodyear has revealed the pain of watching his beloved wife “slowly fade away” after her dementia diagnosis.

Scott Brand has shared his experience as part of a new Alzheimer’s Society campaign, featuring a TV advert starring British actor Colin Firth.

The ad, titled The Long Goodbye, illustrates the harsh reality of the disease’s progression, which causes loved ones to “die again, again and again.”

Brand said: “I miss the fun-loving wife that Julie always was – the larger-than-life personality that brightened up wherever she went and the smile that lit up every room.

“All of this is slowly disappearing and it is extremely painful for me to see this deterioration.

“Julie now has difficulty recognizing people and everyone she meets is called ‘Scott’.

“Not being able to spontaneously go out as husband and wife, hold hands while we walk, have meals together and go shopping – all these losses symbolize for me the long goodbye.”

Find out more about Coronation Street

The shadow of itself

Goodyear played Bet Lynch, the pragmatic landlady of Rovers Return, in Coronation Street for over 25 years.

The 81-year-old former actress was renowned for her leopard print clothes and glamorous looks both on and off screen, but her husband said dementia had caused a lack of interest in her appearance.

“Julie has always been extremely glamorous and doesn’t go anywhere without her makeup.

“But now lipsticks and makeup are no longer worn, and clothes are no longer interesting, especially leopard print ones,” Brand said.

Actress Julie Goodyear aka Bet Lynch on the set of Coronation Street at Granada Studios in Manchester to mark her return to the soap.  Photo date: May 2, 2002
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Goodyear played the role of pragmatic owner Bet Lynch for 25 years. Photo: PA

Brand is Goodyear’s fourth husband and they married in 2007.

“I couldn’t get through it”

He revealed he initially “refused to accept any support” after Goodyear’s diagnosis before realizing “I couldn’t do it alone.”

“I had to give up my job to become Julie’s full-time caregiver,” he said.

“I wasn’t coping and I needed to ask for help.

“Caring for Julie is my priority, but my health was affected and as a sole caregiver, I felt like it was ‘killing’ me.

“Julie has always taken care of finances, but now she can’t even recognize the value of money,” he added.

Julie Goodyear arrives at Celebrity Big Brother House at Elstree Studios in London.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.  Picture date: Friday September 7, 2012. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
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Goodyear appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2012. Photo: PA

“I was suddenly faced with having to sort out all the household matters, which Julie had always handled with ease and perfection.

“It was like being thrown into a new world where I had to do everything myself.

“I would advise anyone going through this journey to accept help immediately.”

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‘There is hope’

Kate Lee, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This campaign seeks to tell the unvarnished truth about the devastation caused by dementia and it relies heavily on those affected by the disease.

“Loved ones of people with dementia often describe it as ‘living grief’ because, little by little, the relentless progression of the disease causes a part of the person to die…over and over again.

“But there is hope.

“The Alzheimer Society, through its support services, is there for those affected, again and again, as they face the grim reality of the long goodbye.”

Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms associated with a continuing decline in brain function, according to the NHS.

This condition can affect memory, thinking skills, and other mental abilities.

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