– Dementia life expectancy.

The average life expectancy for people suffering from dementia varies depending on the type of dementia they have, their age and any other medical conditions they may suffer from.

Dementia life expectancy

Below is the average life expectancy for the four most common types of dementia.

  • Alzheimer’s disease life expectancy is on average 8 to 10 years after the symptoms begin.
  • The average vascular dementia life expectancy from diagnosis is around 4 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 8 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. Although Mum’s journey fell into the average range for someone living with dementia with Lewy bodies (5 to 8 years), some people have been known to live between 2 and 20 years depending on other factors. Below is a rough timeline (as best as I can remember) of Mum’s journey.

Dementia life expectancy

Mum was a relatively young 67 years of age in 2009 when her symptoms first appeared. Although there is no doubt that there was a gradual decline in her cognitive functioning and physical strength, up until June 2016 when Mum suffered from a brain incident which marked the beginning of the end of her life, Mum was fairly well and we thought she would live for years. To find out more, read our story in the book I wrote charting our journey from the first signs of Mum’s illness through to her death. The book also includes useful facts and information about Lewy body dementia.

4 thoughts on “– Dementia life expectancy.

  1. It has been a couple years since she was told she had Dementia and has been on medications. Last year she wasn’t eating so from March to October she lost 30 lbs and was not taking her meds. She has been seeing things so we moved her in with us and she thinks she has more than 1 son, somedays she thinks she has 2 or 3. She thinks her husband and daughter is still alive somedays. This last snow storm she thought her kids were in school and should be home until I told her that Eric was leaving work soon and that upset her. Sometimes she tries talking to us a story and none of it makes sense and then it takes her 5 mins. to think of a word that she can’t think of. We are not sure how long we can keep this up. We took her shoes because she keeps wanting to leave and her husband or her parents are waiting for her. My boyfriend and I both work and we are paying for a Care Giver right now. Was not sure how long she will keep going like this, she is 83 yrs old.

    1. Hi, Sorry to hear about your Mum. What you are going through sounds very similar to what we went through with Mum i.e. hallucinations, problems communicating always wanting to go home even when she was sat in her own front room.

      It really is a truly awful disease but I hope some of the information on this site helps.

      Hallucinations – https://justbedementiafriendly.com/lewy-body-dementia/challenging-symptoms-dlb/
      Communication – https://justbedementiafriendly.com/symptoms-of-dementia/communication-aphasia/
      Wandering – https://justbedementiafriendly.com/symptoms-of-dementia/excessive-walking-wandering/

  2. My mum was diagnosed with dementia a few months ago. Ive been readin about this disease and I dont know which kind she has. How do I find out? Im not close with her husband. Could I phone her doctor? I think its important to know which one my mum has.

    1. Hi, Sorry to hear about your Mum. I agree that it is important to know what type of dementia a person has. I am not sure whether the doctor would be able to tell you but it is worth a try, I certainly used to phone Mum’s doctor. You could also try reading about the main types of dementia – Alzheimer’s, Vascular, Dementia with Lewy bodies and Frontotemporal dementia as they all have slightly different symptoms in the early stages so you may be able to spot certain symptoms that apply to your Mum.

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