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Old 10-25-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
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remaining life expectancy

I haven't posted in a long time since things have calmed down considerably here and I am confident my husband is being well cared for in a home.

I was just wondering if any of you have had a loved one with AD who was in excellent physical health,no diseases or heart problems, and how long he/she lived after diagnosis?

My husband is 70 now, dx 6 yrs ago, and at about stage 6.

I have heard their remaining life expectancy is cut in half after being dx with AD, but what does that mean?

 
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:10 PM   #2
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Re: remaining life expectancy

Welcome back to the forum Ceecee.... Glad things are going well for you now.

From what I have researched it is very dependent on the age at diagnosis. For those diagnosed around age 65, research gives them an average life expectancy of about 9 year which is a 67% reduction in their normal life span while those at age 90 survive an average of about 3 years which is only a 39% reduction in their normal life span. That is why many round it out to 50% of their expected life span. Women do tend to live longer than men.

My Mom was about 75 when she was first diagnosed with depression (which was truly ALZ). Normal life expectancy for her is 87. So she should live 12 more years. But since her diagnosis cuts her life expectancy by 50% the life expectancy with ALZ is reduced to 6 years. Hope that helps understand the numbers.

Of course this would also depend on the time they were diagnosed. Mom had noticable symptoms, that she explained away as depression, for 3 years before her official diagnosis so we can deduct 3 years from diagnosis. It also depends on the health of the individual and the various health problems they encounter. Many die of other complications. Each travels through the disease differently. These are just averages. Some live 15 years and have only minor impairment for a long time while others move through the stages more quickly and it is only a short time between onset and death. So take it for what it is..... a statistical average. It is a mid point between the long and short.

Love, deb

 
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:45 AM   #3
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Re: remaining life expectancy

The *Rule of thumb* is approx. 10 years (give or take) ........ if you've had a Mini-mental done in the *early* stages the score usually reduces by 2 points each year as they deteriorate ..... hence 10 years.

Of course, other considerations need to be taken into. Cardiac history. Renal history. CVA. TIA ...... all these usually make the *point* system decline rapidlyl.

Then of course, there's the ones who just persevere despite the "average".

Just another thought .. for those with our loved ones who have a pacemaker inserted. Sometimes, it's the pacemaker that is keeping them alive, even if in a vegetative state. The Pacemaker CAN be turned off and let the heart do it's natural thing (hard call however, but sometimes necessary for your loved ones dignity).
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... your loved one hasn't forgotten you ... the DISEASE doesn't remember you

 
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:37 AM   #4
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Re: remaining life expectancy

Hi Ceedee...it's interesting to see what others say!

My own Mother was diagnosed 10 yrs. ago...and placed in an AF. Her health was very good...which she attributed to dandelion greens, seaweed, and whole wheat!! (we had to eat that stuff back in the 50's and 60's when friends were drinking Cool-Aid and eating Oreo's!!) Absolutely EVERYTHING we ate was healthy and from scratch...Dad had a 2-acre organic garden we lived out of....and of course, as each of us left home....our eating habits quickly changed!

Mom's little body is STILL healthy! (funny how she always struggled to loose weight, and now that she's "little"....what does it really matter??)

According to the caretakers, she is an exception. She still tries to eat on her own...one little grain of rice, or pea, or cheerio at a time. She sits all alone after each meal...slowly repeating this pattern until her dish is clean. She had been a wonderful artist, and now her right hand is in a clenched position from Parkinson's...which often accompanies Alzheimer's...her left hand is the only tool she has now. I watch as she struggles to pick up her glass and tries desperately to get at the liquid from the bottom...licking the base and not realizing it has to be tipped. She usually gets upset when someone tries to help, but once in a while, I'm able. I've noticed lately that when I kiss her cheek, she turns her head and opens her mouth like a nursing baby does.

The first time I was taken to this "last building"...where clients in the very end stages are placed...I cried all the way home. Usually, they are there only a short time, but Mom has been in this building 5 years. I was heart-broken to see dolls cradled in lifeless arms...twisted bodies with no expressions...occasional terrified calls...and the caretakers carefully pureeing food that clients could easily digest. Why would anyone want "this" for their loved one??? NONE of us do....and I prayed Mom would leave us quickly.

It took a while for me to realize this was a somewhat selfish prayer...surely there is still much for me to learn. Now, my prayer is that she will find peace..............and that's my prayer for each of us...............Pam

 
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:01 AM   #5
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Re: remaining life expectancy

It was interesting to hear your thoughts Pam. We have been lucky with Dad and his vascular dementia. He has had a few major steps down but after eight of nine years he is still functional. In three years Mom has passed him on the down hill slide. My grandmother was about 5 years from start to finish but her progression was accelerated by a bad blood infection after which she was in a nursing home for about a year.

Mom was aways a healthy eater and we lived out of the graden. We even had our own home grown meat. She loved to walk and was always active. Dad has major vascular problem but Mom, even at 74, had no heart blockage show up on her hearth cath. She also beat breast cancer. She has no health problems..... beyond the ALZ. Short of infection I forsee her being like your Mom. Dad on the other hand is slowing noticably, but he is 89 and still going.

When I worked in LTC I always wonder. If I could chose..... would I rather have my mind and lose my body, or have my body and lose my mind. I have seen both and neither is a good way. I envy my dear neighbor who sat down to rock on the porch one afternoon, dozed off, and never woke up at the ripe old age of 80 something.

I am with Pam... my prayer is for peace for us all and our loved ones.....

Love, deb

 
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:52 PM   #6
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Re: remaining life expectancy

[COLOR="Navy"]I lost Dad to AAA as he sat looking at Mom who was still sleeping. We found the anuerism just about 3 months earlier. I would have found it earlier if the calloud docotr he had would have listened to Dad instead of just blowing off "an old mans aches and pains." Dad also had vascular dementia, which was more troublesome in the evening and late afternoon-more of a sundowner issue I believe now. And he short term memory was very bad. How long he would have gone with this and his monor heart issues I'll never know as the anuerism took him.

But Deb, my cousins wife, her Mother was mentally fine, but her body was totally cripples from parkinsons and sometning else to the point where she was in the same nuring home as Mom and Dad. She could barely speak and was incapable of even moving except for some small finger movement. After having seen that, I don't think you would want to have your mind and not the body. I felt so bad for Lila. We would stop to see her and she would try to speak and it was very difficult to even understand the most basic of her sentances. How sad to end your life like that.

It also seems that any little bug will help AZ. patients down the road quicker than a normal person, and every bout with antibiotics seems to push them down the slop of good health faster also. So do what you can to keep him healthy and well.

 
Old 10-26-2008, 08:58 PM   #7
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Re: remaining life expectancy

We intend to IBake. He has an amazing cariologist. My dad is the same as yours. Sundowning is his major difficulty and his short term memory is gone but otherwise he hold his own..... and has for almost 9 year. You can mark his step downs to heart events and infections that required antibiotics... and they are step downs. Mom took a major slide with her three bouts with the flu, one with pneumonia, and the fall last winter. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

I have definitely seen both and I'm opting for going to sleep one night with my mind and my body and just not waking up!!!! How's that???

Love, deb

 
Old 10-27-2008, 02:31 AM   #8
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Re: remaining life expectancy

That's my hope too -- but unfortunately, we don't get to choose!

For all of us and our loved ones:

May your life be long, and your death short!

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 10-27-2008 at 02:36 AM.

 
Old 10-27-2008, 07:47 AM   #9
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Re: remaining life expectancy

Well said Martha

Love, deb

 
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