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Old 08-14-2007, 03:22 PM   #1
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ceedee HB User
What is life expectancy for a physically healthy AD patient ?

Has anyone ever heard what the average life expectancy is for someone who is physically healthy and fairly young(69) ? My husband was dx 5 years ago and is now in a VA home but still walks, feeds self with help and is continent but is very confused and makes no sense when he talks.

I'm trying to figure out if we have enough money for his care to last his lifetime.

I think average lifespan after dx is about 10 yrs. but most people with AD are older and have several other health issues. Not my hubby though.

Just curious!

 
Old 08-14-2007, 05:38 PM   #2
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Re: What is life expectancy for a physically healthy AD patient ?

According to what I have read, practioners measure the stages of Alzheimers as follows.
EARLY STAGE may last 2 to 4 years and will include:

Recent memory loss that affects job performance.
Gets lost on the way to work.
Loses zest for life.
Becomes anxious and has mood and personality changes
Makes bad decisions
trouble handling money.

MIDDLE STAGE is the longest stage from 2 to 10 years and includes:

shorter attention span.
Repetitive statements and movements.
Restlessness at night
Makes up stories
becomes suspicious. irritable and fidgety.
Afraid to bathe and trouble dressing.
Gains and loses weight.
Sees and hears things that are not there.
Requires full time supervision.

LAST STAGE lasts about 1 to 3 years and the patient:

Cannot recognize family or self in the mirror.
continues to lose weight even while eating well.
Cannot communicate with words.
Loses control of bladder and bowel movements.
Sleeps more

I hope this helps to answer your question. Of course, keep in mind that these are only general guidelines. God bless you, as you strive to care for your loved one.

 
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:37 AM   #3
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Re: What is life expectancy for a physically healthy AD patient ?

We were told that the mean average for Early Onset cases is 8 years from diagnosis (which usually occurs a year or two into the disease) to death. Our doctors said that otherwise AD patients average about 10-15 years although some patients can live 20 years (they told us that it isn't usually AD that is terminal in elderly patients, for obvious reasons). They were very reluctant to give us a prognosis since it varies so widely from patient to patient, but I pushed for answers. We desperately rely on the doctors to give us answers. Anyway, DH has been tracking the prognosis that we got at the beginning of his diagnosis pretty closely so far. Rosariared's info above is really good, and it looks like the info I got from our doctors fits right into that spreadsheet.

A woman I work with lost her Mother with AD after 7-years to pneumonia. She was told that penumonia is often a cause of death for AD patients since in later stages of AD the patients can have more trouble with coughing, etc. even if they're otherwise in good health.

Columbia's nursing home calculator is a pretty good tool (do an internet search for "predicting time to nursing home admission"). It also has a death calculator and the results were consistent with the information that I got from our doctors.

I always feel very cold-hearted when talking about a death from AD. We have so many years to think about it, and ultimately it seems to be such a release. And planning is such a struggle...

Last edited by Beginning; 08-15-2007 at 09:40 AM.

 
Old 08-15-2007, 11:27 AM   #4
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ceedee HB User
Re: What is life expectancy for a physically healthy AD patient ?

Thanks for your input. I found something on an AD website that said once someone is dx with AD their normal remaining life expectancy is cut in half. I do know it varies a lot though.

 
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