Amid Bruce Willis' dementia, Demi Moore urges sufferers' families to 'stay in the present'

An old image of Bruce Willis in a hat and leather jacket holding hands with Demi Moore in a black shirt
Demi Moore, right, revealed she copes with ex-husband Bruce Willis' aphasia battle by staying rooted in the present. (Patrice Picot / Associated Press)

For more than a decade, Demi Moore has shared her life and made memories with ex-husband Bruce Willis. But as he battles frontotemporal dementia, the "Ghost" star said she's finding solace in staying in the moment.

Moore, who was married to the "Die Hard" actor from 1987 to 2000, got candid about how she copes with her ex-husband's condition, nearly two years after his diagnosis. Appearing on Tuesday's episode of Andy Cohen's SiriusXM show "Radio Andy," the "Feud: Capote vs. The Swans" actor encouraged people caring for loved ones with dementia to "meet them where they're at."

"When you let go of who they’ve been or who you think they [were] or who even you would like them to be," Moore continued, "you can then really stay in the present and take in the joy and the love that is present and there for all that they are, not all that they’re not."

Read more: Bruce Willis' dementia diagnosis was 'a blessing and a curse,' Emma Heming Willis says

"That's beautiful," Cohen replied.

Despite divorcing in 2000, Moore and Willis, who share daughters Rumer, Scout LaRue and Tallulah, have remained close. On Instagram, Moore, 61, has wished her ex-husband, 68, many happy birthdays and thanked him for sharing a blended family.

Willis is currently married to model Emma Heming Willis, 45. They share young daughters Evelyn and Mabel.

In March 2022, Moore helped break the news that Willis was diagnosed with aphasia and would step away from his acting career, which included the films "Pulp Fiction," "The Sixth Sense" and "Moonlighting." According to the National Aphasia Assn., aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs the ability to process language but does not affect intelligence.

Read more: Bruce Willis' wife Emma admits she is 'not good' as she copes with life as a caregiver

"This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support," Moore said in a letter from an Instagram post also written by Willis' daughters and wife. "We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him."

In February 2023, Willis' loved ones — including Moore — revealed that the actor was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

“Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces," they said in a joint statement. "While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis."

Moore last posted about Willis on Instagram last year for Father's Day, noting that she will be "forever grateful" for him and the children they share.

For "Radio Andy," the Emmy-nominated actor joined a number of her "Feud: Capote vs. The Swans" co-stars to promote the upcoming FX series. In the anthology series' second installment, Moore stars as socialite Ann Woodward. The series also stars Tom Hollander, Naomi Watts, Diane Lane, Chloë Sevigny, Molly Ringwald and Calista Flockhart.

"Feud: Capote vs. The Swans" premieres Wednesday.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.