How Long Will A Person With Dementia Live For
Whatever type of dementia a person has, their life expectancy is on average lower. This is why dementia is called a life-limiting condition. This can be very upsetting to think about.
However, its important to remember that, no matter how a persons dementia changes over time, there are ways to live well with the condition.
Good support can make a huge difference to the persons quality of life at all stages of dementia.
How long a person lives with dementia varies greatly from person to person. It depends on many factors, such as the ones listed on The progression and stages of dementia page.
Other factors include:
- how far dementia had progressed when the person was diagnosed
- what other serious health conditions the person with dementia has such as diabetes, cancer, or heart problems
- how old the person was when their symptoms started older people are more likely than younger people to have other health conditions that may lower their life expectancy. A person in their 90s who is diagnosed with dementia is more likely to die from other health problems before they reach the later stages than is a person diagnosed in their 70s.
Life Expectancy Of Vascular Dementia
After stroke episodes that lead to Vascular Dementia, life expectancy differ in their options. A concise age range that is expected to live to with Vascular Dementia, is unavailable, however if little action is taken to treat the condition, the expectancy can almost be cut in half. Talking to a medical professional, like a doctor, can inform people more on the condition itself, and what measures should be taken if someone has it.
Typically, cases that result in Vascular Dementia generally put life expectancies at around three years after a stroke episode. These are standard results for all stroke cases, however its pretty general for all cases. Understanding symptoms of Vascular Dementia early on can greatly increase the range of life expectancy, as long as health and care factors are taken care of in the process.
How Can I Support Someone With Dementia Towards The End Of Life
Knowing the person will make it easier to provide person-centred care that is focused on what they need and want. It can help to know about their likes, dislikes and their wishes for how they want to be cared for. If the person isnt able to tell you about themselves, speak to their family, friends or other people who know them well.
Its a good idea to find out if the person has a copy of This is me , a document that records information about themselves. If you cant speak to the person, ask those close to them if they have a copy. They may have these details recorded in their care plan.
There are many ways to support someone with dementia at the end of life.
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Why Is Planning For End Of Life Important
You may find it hard to think or talk about end of life and it may be upsetting to read some of this information. But having these important conversations with the person, and planning ahead, can mean they have a better experience at the end of their life. It can also be helpful for you and for others close to the person.
Planning for the end of life is important for anyone who has a life-limiting condition. For a person with dementia, its important to try and have these conversations early, while its still possible to make shared decisions. However, many people dont feel ready to think ahead about dying. In this case, knowing the persons values, wishes and beliefs more generally can help when on their behalf.
Advance care planning
Read more about making choices about future care , including information about lasting power or attorney and advance decisions.
- care home or hospital staff.
Specialist palliative care professionals may also provide input for people with complex needs.
Chronic Blood Vessel Issues
Atherosclerosis , autoimmune vascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic blood vessel issues tend to progress the symptoms and stages of vascular dementia gradually. Thats because the constricted blood vessels limit the flow of oxygen to the brain tissue increasingly as time goes on.
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End Of Life And Legal Issues
If you have been diagnosed with dementia, you might want to make arrangements for your care that take into account the decline in your mental abilities.
This may include making sure that your wishes are upheld if you’re not able to make decisions for yourself.
You may want to consider:
- creating an advance decision, which makes your treatment preferences known in case you’re unable to do this in the future
- having a “preferred place of care” plan, which outlines where you would like to receive treatment
- giving a relative lasting power of attorney, enabling them to make decisions about you if you’re unable to
The 7 Stages Of Dementia
Living with and understanding Dementia stages can be difficult. Here we offer a more clearly defined picture of the whole Dementia journey. What are the signs of Dementia to look out for in a loved one? And if you do spot these signals of Dementia, what actions can you take?
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Sleep For People Who Have Dementia With Lewy Bodies And Parkinsons Disease
The type of dementia you have can affect your sleep.
People who have dementia caused by Lewy body disease, such as Parkinsons disease or dementia with Lewy bodies are often sleepy by day but have very restless and disturbed nights. They can suffer from confusion, nightmares and hallucinations. Insomnia, sleep apnoea and restless legs are common symptoms.
A person affected with these types of dementia may often unknowingly act out their dreams by shouting and moving around in bed.
They can even cause injury to themselves and/or their sleeping partner. This is called rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder or RBD, and tends to happen from the earliest stages of the disease onwards.
This can be exhausting and often leaves the person feeling like they havent slept at all, so they are very tired and sleepy during the day.
It can be hard to stay awake during the day after a poor nights sleep but, if possible, its best to try to limit sleep during the day to small bursts or catnaps. Otherwise the persons body clock can become very confused and this makes sleeping well during the night even harder.
What Is The Average Life Expectancy
Life expectancy varies for each person with AD. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is eight to 10 years. In some cases, however, it can be as short as three years or as long as 20 years.
AD can go undiagnosed for several years, too. In fact, the average length of time between when symptoms begin and when an AD diagnosis is made is 2.8 years.
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Stage : Mid Stage Semi Severe Vascular Dementia
Another one on the list of the vascular dementia stages that I would like to reveal in this article today and want you and my other readers to know if you are considering whether they get this disorder or not.
Loss of mobility: Many people gradually lose the ability of walking and performing everyday tasks. One of the first signs is that they walk unsteadily. They can also seem slower, bump into things and fall objects. Some people even become confined to a chair or bed. People who are caring for people with vascular dementia should ask for an advice from a community nurse or a therapist to aid mobility.
Memory loss: This symptom is very severe in the stages of vascular dementia. Patients may not be able to recognize other people who are close to them and even their own reflection. Also, they may not be able to find their way home around familiar surroundings or identify objects they use every day. However, occasionally, they may experience sudden flashes of recognition. They may believe that they are in a time from their past and may look for something or somebody from that time. For those around them, it may be helpful to try talking with them about the past. Even when they have severe memory loss, they still can appreciate or respond to music, touch and scent. Thus, continue to talk to them, even when they cannot respond.
Planning For End Of Life Care
When a person with dementia is approaching the end of their life, it can be a very difficult time for them and the people around them. However there are things you can do to support the person and other close family or friends.
Around this time you will probably be dealing with a range of different health and social care professionals. It will really help if there is good communication between all of the people involved in providing the persons end of life care.
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Late Stages Of Vascular Dementia
The extent to which a person with dementia experiences confusion or disorientation increases significantly as they progress into the late stages of vascular dementia. Communication, short-term memory, and logical reasoning are also negatively impacted. Expect to increase your level of support for your loved one as he or she advances from the early stages of vascular dementia to the late stages. Your family member may need help with cleaning and other chores around the house as they navigate different treatments and the symptoms of the disease.
You may also notice an exacerbation of the following symptoms:
Eventually, your loved one will depend on your 24/7 assistance with their daily routine.
How Should Professionals Manage End Of Life Care
Health professionals should normally carry out a risk assessment to identify things that could worsen the persons quality of life during this time. They should also keep you updated as the persons condition changes and involve you in any decisions. If you are unable to meet with them in person, this should still happen over the phone.
There should also be an up-to-date care plan for the person. This plan should include end of life plans and should be shared with those involved in the persons care.
Some local areas have special staff who co-ordinate end of life care for people with dementia. Ask the GP, community nurse or local hospice about what is available in the persons area.
The persons spiritual needs, practices and traditions will be individual to them. These needs should be addressed and respected as much as the medical aspects of care. Personal or religious objects, symbols or rituals may provide comfort, both for the person and those close to them. These could also include music, pictures, smells or tastes.
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What Are The Average Life Expectancy Figures For The Most Common Types Of Dementia
The average life expectancy figures for the most common types of dementia are as follows:
- Alzheimers disease around eight to 10 years. Life expectancy is less if the person is diagnosed in their 80s or 90s. A few people with Alzheimers live for longer, sometimes for 15 or even 20 years.
- Vascular dementia around five years. This is lower than the average for Alzheimers mostly because someone with vascular dementia is more likely to die from a stroke or heart attack than from the dementia itself.
- Dementia with Lewy bodies about six years. This is slightly less than the average for Alzheimers disease. The physical symptoms of DLB increase a persons risk of falls and infections.
- Frontotemporal dementia about six to eight years. If a person has FTD mixed with motor neurone disease a movement disorder, their dementia tends to progress much quicker. Life expectancy for people who have both conditions is on average about two to three years after diagnosis.
To find out about the support available to someone at the end of their life, and to their carers, family and friends, see our End of life care information.
You can also call Alzheimers Society on 0333 150 3456 for personalised advice and support on living well with dementia, at any stage.
Dementia Connect support line
What You Can Do For Your Loved One
As an individual with dementia declines, you can help them by providing a loving and supportive presence. Sit with them. Hold their hand. Play music they enjoy.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your loved one is helping to get their affairs in order. Ensure that financial and healthcare powers of attorney are put in place, so you can make decisions when your loved one is no longer able. Look into funeral arrangements before you need them, so you dont need to make important decisions in a time of crisis.
Talk to your loved ones physician about the possibility of palliative care support in the home and hospice care when your loved one is ready.
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What Should Be Your Role As A Caregiver In The End
During the final stage of dementia, the affected individual becomes completely dependent on the people around them to carry out basic activities.
If a person is a caregiver, they need to take care of the patient regarding certain important aspects, including:
The appetite of the affected individual may decrease in the final stages of dementia due to the inability to stay physically active. They may forget to eat food or drink fluids.
To help ensure that the person in the final stage of dementia receives adequate nutrition, try the following tips:
Bowel and bladder function
The patient may eventually lose control of bladder and bowel function in the final stage of dementia.
To maintain bowel and bladder function, try the following tips:
Skin and bone health
A patient with end-stage Alzheimers disease can eventually become bedridden or chair-bound. This can result in skin breakdown, pressure sores, and freezing of joints .
To keep the skin healthy and bones functioning, try the following tips:
Good oral hygiene reduces the risk of bacteria in the mouth that can lead to infections, including pneumonia. Brush the patients teeth every time after the patient eats. If the patient wears dentures, remove them and clean them every night.
Why Do Dementia Patients Stop Talking
There are many signs that can tell you death is near for a dementia payment. Even though you may be prepared for the end, it is never easy. The ten signs that death is near include:
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The Short Answer To A Big Question
On this page we will discuss the development of an Alzheimers / dementia Life Expectancy Calculator, but lets first address the question most people ask after receiving the diagnosis of an incurable disease: How long do I have left to live? With dementia, the answer differs depending on the type. By far the most common form of dementia is Alzheimers disease, and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is 10 years. Other dementias have different life expectancies. Someone with vascular dementia lives for about five years after diagnosis. Someone who has dementia with Lewy bodies will typically live for six to twelve more years.
Average life expectancies for the most common types of dementia are as follows:
What Are The Main Types Of Dementia
Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for around 2 out of every 3 of cases in older people. Vascular dementia is another common form, while dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia are less common.
It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Alzheimers is sometimes seen with vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. You might hear this called mixed dementia.
The symptoms of dementia vary depending on the disease, or diseases, causing it. You can read more about the symptoms associated with different types of dementia on the Alzheimers Society website .
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How Can Healthcare Professionals Help At This Stage
Healthcare professionals can explain these changes so you understand what is happening.
Healthcare professionals can also take steps to reduce the persons pain or distress, often using medication.
If the person cant swallow, then medication can be provided through patches on the skin, small injections or syringe pumps that provide a steady flow of medication through a small needle under the persons skin. Speak to a GP or another health professional about this.