Sanders suffered from dementia , worsened by waning health, and visibly teetered in his last films, owing to a loss of balance. According to Aherne's biography, he also had a minor stroke. Sanders could not bear the prospect of losing his health or needing help to carry out everyday tasks, and became deeply depressed. At about this time he found that he could no longer play his grand piano , so he dragged it outside and smashed it with an axe. His last girlfriend persuaded him to sell his beloved house in Majorca , Spain, which he later bitterly regretted. From then on he drifted.