A pal tells Radar the former View host is an infirm shut-in at her New York City apartment and is watched around the clock by nurses tasked with a single mission: keep the ex-newscaster alive!
Sadly, Radar can now report Walters has not been seen in public since July 2016 and may never be seen on TV again. "Barbara has been showing all the signs of advanced dementia in recent months," claimed the source. "She has to have someone watching over her at all times. She's so disorientated she rarely remembers who she is talking to."
Walters recognizes few things from her past aside from old photos of her beloved pooch, Cha Cha, who died several years ago, and the televised voice of old View co-host Joy Behar.
Though her reps deny she's suffering from dementia, an insider said: "Barbara doesn't always know her name, but Joy's voice and laughter puts a smile on her face. The staff turns on the television when The View comes on, and Barbara regularly cries when memories of her being in full control of the program come back to her!"
As Radar previously reported, Barbara was once a woman about town, but the former Today host tellingly skipped the 20th anniversary episode of The View in November and our source reported she rarely gets to leave her wheelchair.
"She's gotten so weak that she's been forced into that wheelchair for fear she'll wander out onto the streets on her own," added the insider. "Barbara's handlers have had a very hard time with her.
"The way things look now ... she has just months or weeks to live."
A trainer visits the ailing legend once a week to ensure her limbs don't atrophy from immobility. The source painted a tragic downward spiral that has left Walters incontinent and suspicious of — even physically aggressive toward — her caretakers.
"Barbara's become extremely paranoid that people are stealing from her!" the source dished, adding, "Sometimes she gets angry and will physically swat at caregivers if they cause her any pain."
In particular, the anguished icon is constantly worried she'll fall down and break her hip.
"Barbara does not want to receive guests," according to a source. "She has shut herself off to almost everyone at ABC, and only sees a few people who have been close to her."
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