How Long Do People Live After Being Diagnosed With Dementia?
The term dementia covers a wide range of progressive brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and vascular dementia. All forms, for the most part, of dementia lead to fatal brain failure and are incurable. After diagnosis, life expectancy varies depending on the type of dementia but average survival is about 4.5 years. A person with Alzheimer’s disease typically lives 4 to 8 years after being diagnosed but some have been known to live for over a decade.
It is interesting to note that people who are diagnosed with dementia before the age of 70 tend to live longer, often more than a decade after diagnosis. Some studies also suggest that women live slightly longer after being diagnosed than men, on average. In general, the health of the patient when first diagnosed tends to have a big impact on the length of survival. Patients who are healthier when diagnosed usually live longer than those who are frailer.
What Causes Death with Dementia Patients
In the early stages of dementia, the signs and symptoms are very mild and often unnoticeable. As the disease progresses and the patient beings to experience brain failure, they experience a decline in mobility and eventually have difficulty eating or swallowing. Weight loss and a lack of movement often instigate an increase in vulnerabilities. The patient becomes more susceptible to infections and disease which are harder to fight off.
As their health begins to fail, patients in the end-stage of dementia may suffer from major health events that can lead to death. The progressive brain disease itself will also eventually lead to death as well. In the early stages of the disease, it’s important to take steps to help slow the patient’s mental decline. Alternatively, it’s recommended in the end-stage to focus on palliative care – making the patient as comfortable as possible and improving the quality of life rather than using aggressive treatments.
Get the Best Care for Dementia Patients in Phoenix, AZ
Do you have a family member or loved one suffering from dementia? Call (480) 999-3012 and talk to one of our staff at Devoted Guardians. We are one of Arizona’s largest home care providers with personnel trained in dementia care. We offer daily 24-hour living assistance, including nighttime watch, and personal care.