"The focus for Bruce is to keep him active. He has a busy schedule with activities every day," a family source said.
Family members of actor Bruce Willis are supporting him while he battles frontotemporal dementia. The Die Hard actor's family, which includes his wife Emma Heming Willis and children Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8, as well as his ex-wife Demi Moore and their daughters Rumer, 34, Scout, 31 and Tallulah, 29, have been focused on assisting him in living "as full a life as possible," the family said in a statement.
"The focus for Bruce is to keep him active. He has a busy schedule with activities every day. They make sure both his body and brain are exercised," a family source told PEOPLE. "The family is all closer than ever," the source said, adding that his wife, 44-year-old Emma, is working on making good memories for Mabel and Evelyn while she can. "She wants them to remember Bruce as an amazing, fun dad. She wants them to have the best memories of him," the source added.
Almost a year after they first revealed the 67-year-old actor had been diagnosed with aphasia, the actor's family provided an update on his health. "Since we announced Bruce's diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce's condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD). 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," the statement issued by the family said.
A set of neurological conditions that affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are together referred to as frontotemporal dementia. This implies that some of these lobes shrink, and the shrinkage of these areas might result in speech impairments, emotional troubles, and personality changes, per Mayo Clinic. Loss of motor skills, such as issues with walking, swallowing, or muscle spasms, might be another indication. Over time, symptoms frequently worsen. Individuals usually start to have symptoms between the ages of 40 and 65, while it can also affect those who are younger. For those under 60, it is the most typical type of dementia, per The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
The family is also trying to spread awareness about the "cruel disease" and wrote, "Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately." They added, "We know in our hearts that – if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families."
The statement further said, "Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same." They continued, "It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time. Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Neilson Barnard