Question: My mom had severe dementia. They say dementia kills. At what point might I notice this? She is very active. She walks a lot but that's about it. She doesn't know how to do anything else.
Dr. Amy: Dementia is a progressive disease, so it will get worse over time. The type of dementia your mom has will influence this. So will your mom’s health in her earlier years. People with dementia, including those with Alzheimer's, do have a shortened life span. In general, people with Alzheimer's have about half the life expectancy, after they are diagnosed, of people who do not have Alzheimer's.I encourage you to talk to the doctor, and make sure your mom has a thorough assessment. The doctor is best placed to help you understand your mother’s condition and what you can expect.
Home Instead Senior Care has published some very useful resources, including a new book, Confidence to Care, which is a dementia care guidebook for family caregivers. I encourage you to take a look at these. They will help you better understand your mom's condition and make it a little easier for you to help her.
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