Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine, the actress revealed the heartache it caused when her mother could no longer recognise Linda and her family

Linda Robson is best known for playing Tracey in comedy show Birds of a Feather, but her experiences of caring for her mother Rita, who had dementia and went on to develop cancer, was anything but funny.

Yesterday, Linda chatted to Gabby Logan on ITV’s morning show, Lorraine, about how much her mum changed, particularly her personality.

‘It was like she became a child again. She was a traditional Irish Catholic woman who never used to swear. But then she suddenly started swearing – I think it must have been out of frustration.

‘She’d go missing, she started smoking again. She'd forgotten that she'd stopped.

‘Then she forgot that she didn't like vegetables and she started eating them. She used to hate tea, then she started drinking tea. Then she forgot she needed to eat and we had to force feed her. I used to go out and buy her high-calorie milkshakes.

‘Watching her deteriorate like that was very, very hard.’

Rita passed away almost three years ago from stomach cancer. Linda admits that it was particularly difficult when she could no longer recognise family members.

‘She just didn't recognise us anymore. At the time, my daughter Lauren had just had a baby and mum would say, “She’s such a lovely little boy”. We had to keep telling her “Mum, it’s a girl”.’

Linda is supporting the Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walks which take place across the UK during September and October. For more information, click here.

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