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Why Knowing The 5 Stages Of Dementia Life-Expectancy Matters

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a number of conditions characterized by a decline in cognitive abilities. Typically, the changes in our mental function occur with age and affect our memory, thinking process, and daily functioning.

Understanding the 5-stages of dementia life expectancy, including Alzheimer’s, is crucial for managing the progression of the disease and maintaining a good quality of life for the affected person.

This article gives some insight into the life expectancy of people with dementia and the factors that may affect it.

Life Expectancy for Different Types of Dementia

There are different kinds of dementia, and the life expectancy of people diagnosed with it can vary depending on the specific type and individual factors.

dementia stages life expectancy

Alzheimer’s Disease

    • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia that begins with short-term memory problems.
    • People with this condition can live anywhere from 3 to 20 years after diagnosis. However, for some, life expectancy can be longer, especially when diagnosed in the early stages.

Vascular Dementia

    • Vascular dementia happens when there is reduced blood flow to the brain and is often due to strokes or blood vessel disease.
    • Depending on the severity of the underlying vascular problems, people with Vascular dementia generally live shorter than those with Alzheimer’s disease. Life expectancy is estimated to be an average of 5 years after diagnosis.

Lewy Body Dementia

    • In people with Lewy body dementia, abnormal protein deposits (Lewy bodies) are present in the brain, and one of the most distinctive symptoms of this condition is visual hallucinations.
    • Life expectancy can range from 5 to 8 years on average, although some people can live up to 20 years after being diagnosed.

Frontotemporal Dementia

    • This type of dementia affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which typically leads to dramatic changes in behavior and personality.
    • Life expectancy for people with frontotemporal dementia varies, but on average, it is 7.5 years.

Mixed Dementia

    • Sometimes, individuals may be diagnosed with a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia or other types of dementia.
    • Life expectancy for these people can vary depending on the mix of underlying conditions.

Rare Types

    • There are rarer types of dementia, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Pick’s disease, each with its own course and life expectancy.

Life expectancy is influenced by the lifestyle of the individual, their access to medical care, and the presence of other medical conditions.

If you are a caregiver or a family member of someone with dementia, you should know that you play a critical role in providing support and enhancing the quality of life for your loved one affected by the condition.

Since dementia is a progressive disease, with its advancing, your beloved’s physical and cognitive abilities will also decline.

how long do stages of dementia last

Early diagnosis and appropriate care can help improve the management of dementia and the overall well-being of individuals living with the disease.

Prognosis According to the 5 Dementia Stages

In the table below you will find the common stages of dementia, typical symptoms you can expect at each, and the associated life expectancies.

Again, keep in mind that these prognoses are overgeneralized and can vastly vary according to individual circumstances.

Stage of dementia

Typical symptoms

Average life expectancy

Early Stage (Mild Cognitive Impairment):

In the early stage, affected people usually experience mild memory problems, and cognitive difficulties, such as difficulty doing more than one task at a time or being confused.

Life expectancy is close to the average life expectancy for their age considering any other health problems they may have.

Some people in this stage may not progress to more severe forms of dementia.

Mild Dementia In this stage, cognitive and functional impairments become more noticeable. You may notice that your loved one has difficulty with memory, decision-making, and everyday tasks. At this stage, life expectancy can vary widely. However, on average, it may range from 2 to 10 years, depending on the type of dementia and individual factors.
Moderate Dementia Mental and functional decline become more pronounced. Your beloved would require increasing assistance with daily activities and personal care. Depending on the type and the individual’s overall health, life expectancy can be anywhere from 2 to 6 years.
Severe Dementia In the severe stage, your loved one may have very limited cognitive function and will need 24/7 care for all daily activities. Life expectancy at this stage is typically shorter. Specialists often estimate it at 1 to 3 years, depending on the dementia type and individual factors.
End-Stage Dementia This is the final stage of dementia, where individuals are often completely dependent on others for care and may be bedridden. At this stage, life expectancy is often measured in months, though it can vary.

It’s important to note that these stages are general guidelines, and the progression of dementia for your loved one can be quite different.

Factors Influencing Life Expectancy

The type of dementia also plays a significant role in life expectancy. For example, Alzheimer’s disease, has a more predictable progression, while other types, like Frontotemporal dementia, may progress differently.

Additionally, if your beloved suffers from concurrent health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems, those can influence their life expectancy and overall well-being.

caregivers engage your loved one in activities stimulating cognitive abilities

The care and support people with dementia receive is another major factor that can impact how long they live with this disease.

That is why your role as a caregiver, together with healthcare providers, is crucial in ensuring that your loved one receives appropriate care and support tailored to their specific needs at each stage of the disease. Proactive planning for their care for each stage is essential and can help manage the condition.


Caregiving For People With Dementia

Caring for someone with dementia, especially in its more advanced stages, can be extremely challenging. In 2023, an array of services and resources are available to aid families and caregivers in navigating this difficult journey. If you want to learn more about how to care for your beloved, you can find well-compiled information here.

This includes resources that span from identifying dementia symptoms to exploring treatment options to slow down the progression and providing advice on managing daily challenges like eating and swallowing difficulties, sleep disruptions, confusion, incontinence, and weight fluctuations.

Providing a good quality of care involves comprehensive education and training, emphasizing a person-centered approach that tailors care to their unique preferences and history.

professional care is vital for people with dementia

The best care is professional dementia care which places like Amy’s Eden can offer. It consists of effective communication, behavior management, medication administration, and safety measures.

Professionals with proper training and acquired experience can successfully find ways to engage the people they care for in meaningful activities and conduct regular assessments of their condition and vital signs.

Collaboration with healthcare professionals and family members, along with adherence to legal and ethical considerations, is crucial to providing high-quality care with compassion and respect, always focusing on your loved one’s dignity and well-being.

Need professional and compassionate caregivers for your loved one? Contact us today.

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