How Long Do Stages 6 And 7 Of Alzheimer's Last?

Question

Asked by Kelley A

How Long Do Stages 6 And 7 Of Alzheimer's Last?

My mom is 66 years old and was officially diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer's last year. She went through stages 3 and 4 in about three years and has gone through stage 5 in about 1 year. She has had no heart attacks, but has had one very small stroke. She has had high blood pressure and high cholestrol, and is high risk for heart attack and stroke, but is on medication. Is there anyway to predict how long the last 2 stages of alzheimer's would last?

Answer

The Stages of Alzheimer's are a guide to the different stages and have no time frame as such. Some people, following diagnosis of Alzheimer's, can survive many years with the disease, while others succumb within two years-unfortunately, there is no rhyme or reason. However, in the final stage of Alzheimer's it is the physical deterioration that often dictates the time frame. When people lose their ability to walk, spend more time in bed, become incontinent, and have difficulty taking food and fluids then chest and general infections begin to take their toll. It is rarely Alzheimer's that is the cause of death, it is the side effects of prolonged chronic immobility.

You may also notice behavioral changes in the last stages of Alzheimer's-this may indicate a shift to the last stages.

The National Hospice Organization Medical Guidelines Task Force 1995 found indicators of a six month time frame to death. They were:

Low Activity of Daily Living score, being male, having cancer, a need for oxygen therapy, heart failure, shortness of breath, no more that 25% of food eaten at most meals, an unstable condition, bowel incontinence, being bedridden, over 83 years of age and being asleep most of the day.

Answered by Christine Kennard