Veteran broadcaster Alastair Stewart recently took to GB News to reveal that he has been diagnosed with dementia. The 71-year-old spoke candidly about the symptoms he’s been experiencing, the impact on his family, and the steps he’s taking to manage the condition.
Stewart began to feel “discombobulated” about six to nine months ago while performing simple tasks around the house. Initially, he wasn’t forgetful but struggled with tasks like tying his shoelaces and keeping track of time. Concerned, he consulted his GP and underwent a series of scans. The results showed that he had suffered a series of “infarct strokes”, leading to his dementia diagnosis.
Stewart has been married to his wife, Sally, for 44 years. He described the emotional toll the diagnosis has taken on her, stating that she has been “almost reduced to a carer”. The broadcaster also mentioned that his family has been “utterly brilliant” in supporting him. His daughter, currently working in Saudi Arabia, and his son Alex have been particularly supportive.
Despite the incurable nature of dementia, Stewart is taking proactive steps to manage his symptoms. He has quit smoking and is engaging in activities like walking his dogs and solving word puzzles to keep his brain active. He also writes down notes to help with his short-term memory issues.
Stewart, who led ITV’s news coverage for 35 years, has been a prominent figure in British broadcasting. He has covered significant historical events, chaired political debates, and received numerous awards, including an OBE for services to broadcasting and charity. He retired in March this year but will continue to contribute to GB News as an occasional commentator.
In a touching tribute, GB News announced that their new Westminster studios would be named “The Alastair Stewart Studios“. Stewart was visibly moved by the gesture, stating that he was “deeply honoured and deeply touched.”
Victoria Lyons, Dementia UK’s senior consultant admiral nurse, and Samantha Benham-Hermetz, the executive director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, both expressed their support for Stewart. They emphasised the importance of his public disclosure in raising awareness about dementia and its impact on families.
Stewart’s message to the public was clear: if you suspect something is wrong, consult your GP. He also highlighted the importance of considering the emotional toll such a diagnosis can take on loved ones.
Alastair Stewart’s brave disclosure about his dementia diagnosis serves as a poignant reminder of the human aspect of the disease. His story underscores the importance of early diagnosis, family support, and public awareness in managing this incurable condition.
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