The actress – who played Roxy Mitchell in the BBC soap until she was axed last year – has told how the legendary Dame has had a "dip" lately which is heartbreaking for her husband Scott and all her family and friends.
She told the Daily Star Sunday: “From what her husband Scott Mitchell said to me, she has had a real dip lately.
“What I have seen is more confusion, which is really devastating to watch because she always had her marbles together and was always the life and soul of the room.
“It is an incredibly sad thought that my Aunty Peggy, which is what I’ve always called Barbara, isn't herself."
Rita added: From what Scott says there are some dark days but they still have good days, too.
“Scott is doing an amazing job. I don’t know what she would do without Scott."
It comes after Dame Barbara's on-screen son Ross Kemp had an emotional meeting with her as she bravely battles the cruel disease.
The 53-year-old actor shared a sweet snap of him with his on-screen mother earlier this week after popping round to visit.
Last month, The Sun revealed how the 80-year-old had been battling Alzheimer's for four years after being diagnosed in 2014.
But having spent time with Barbara – who played his mum Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders – Ross revealed she was in great spirits.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, the actor – who played Grant Mitchell – said: "Put it this way, I went round for a cup of tea and I was there for three-and-a-half hours.
"I think what she's done is very brave, she has a great husband in Scott [Mitchell], he's been very supportive."
Barbara as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders with her sons Grant and Phil, played by Ross Kemp and Steve McFaddenAs hosts Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid asked if she was doing OK, Ross continued: "Honestly, I had five cups of tea, three shortbread biscuits – which is not good for my diet – and I laughed a lot.
"She's got that great ability, when you walk through the door, she's 'on'.
"It was like seeing my second mum."
On Monday, Ross shared the sweet snap of him and Barbara together on his social media.
As they cuddled up and smiled, Ross wrote on Twitter: "Visiting my lovely Bar…whoops, I mean Dame Barbara Windsor.”
The same day, she also received a visit from another EastEnders colleague.
Actor Jake Wood – who plays Max Branning – also shared a snap with the legendary actress from the get together.
The pair were joined by Barbara's husband Scott and Jake's wife Alison Murray.
The foursome all grinned for the camera, with Barbara looking lovely in a lip print top.
Jake, 45, wrote on Twitter alongside the picture: "There ain't nothing like a Dame" as well as three love heart emojis.
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