The average life expectancy for people suffering from dementia varies depending on the type of dementia they have, their age and other medical conditions they may have.
Dementia life expectancy
- On average, people with Alzheimer’s disease live for eight to ten years after their symptoms begin.
- The average survival time from diagnosis of vascular dementia is around four years. Most people will die either from complications of dementia, such as pneumonia, or from a subsequent stroke.
- The average life expectancy for people with dementia with Lewy bodies, after the onset of symptoms, is 5 to 8 years.
- The average survival time after the symptoms of frontotemporal dementia start is around eight years.
I believe one of the hardest things with dementia is not knowing how much time you have left. Knowing that the inevitable will happen. That they will forget your name, they will lose the ability to speak, they will die, but not knowing when each of these milestones will occur, leaves you in a state of limbo, unable to make any firm plans for life ahead.
Mum’s was a journey of roughly 7 years. Below is a rough timeline (as best as I can remember) of Mum’s journey, one that fell into the average range of life expectancy for someone with dementia with Lewy bodies (5 to 8 years).
Read our story in more detail in the book I wrote charting our journey from the first signs of Mum’s illness through to her death. The book also include useful facts and information about Lewy body dementia – see side bar.