Lilies Of The Field star Sir Sidney Poitier died from Alzheimer’s

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Nominated for his first Academy Award for The Defiant Ones (1958), Sir Poitier went on to achieve great success. In 1963, the star earned an Oscar for his performance in Lilies Of The Field; other career highlights included In The Heat Of The Night and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. He then turned towards directing in 1972, with his debut Western production Buck And The Preacher.

A man of many talents, in his latter years, he penned The Measure Of A Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (2000) and Montaro Caine (2013).

Married twice, Sir Poitier left other legacies beside his work – his six children.

Sharing four of them – Sherri, Gina, Pamela, and Beverly – with his first wife, Juanita Hardy, his youngest, Anika and Sydney, he had with Joanna Shimkus.

Joanna, whom he married in 1976, was with him until his very final breath on January 6, 2022, aged 94.

According to Sir Poitier’s death certificate, he had died from a combination of Alzheimer’s dementia, heart failure, and prostate cancer.

Resting in California, how would Sir Poitier have been affected by the mind-robbing condition?

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, which affects memory and thinking capabilities, the NHS says.

The progressive brain condition typically first presents itself as “minor memory problems”.

Examples include forgetting recent conversations or events, and/or the names of places and objects.

As the condition kills more brain cells, there will be a growing list of symptoms.

Alzheimer’s disease can result in confusion, disorientation, and difficulty making decisions.

The condition could also lead to personality changes, hallucinations and low mood.

While there is not a single test that can detect the brain condition, a referral by the doctor to a memory clinic could be the first step in diagnosis.

People who have the condition, however, may not be aware of their own symptoms, so it’s more likely people who they have daily interactions with will be the first to notice that something is off.

“If you’re worried about someone else, encourage them to make an appointment and perhaps suggest going with them,” the NHS adds.

“It’s often very helpful having a friend or family member there.”

While the disease is not curable, treatments are available to help alleviate distressing symptoms.

Furthermore, an early diagnosis can lead to more appropriate organisation of personal affairs, such as how somebody would want to be looked after.

Over time, the condition can require that the affected person has 24-7 care.

Watch Sir Sidney Poitier star in The Bedford Incident on Film4 at 4.50pm on Monday, February 13.

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