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  1. #1
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    Dementia at a very old age

    Hello guys, I just joined here.. I'm not sure if this is the right subforum for such a thread but I have a question as its really been messing with my head.

    Last week Wednesday my grandad was diagnosed with dimentia, as its early on and he's in my home country and still in a and e the type of dementia is unknown to me, and probably will be for a few weeks (Family members over there are keeping me updated). My question however is, as he is 86, going on 87 will the decline be a lot quicker? I would really like a straight answer with no 'buttercoat'. I know that dementia affects everyone differently, but because of his age I have a feeling his decline will be very quick. I would also like to point out he is very healthy.. Thanks for reading

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salvatore 172 View Post
    Hello guys, I just joined here.. I'm not sure if this is the right subforum for such a thread but I have a question as its really been messing with my head.

    Last week Wednesday my grandad was diagnosed with dimentia, as its early on and he's in my home country and still in a and e the type of dementia is unknown to me, and probably will be for a few weeks (Family members over there are keeping me updated). My question however is, as he is 86, going on 87 will the decline be a lot quicker? I would really like a straight answer with no 'buttercoat'. I know that dementia affects everyone differently, but because of his age I have a feeling his decline will be very quick. I would also like to point out he is very healthy.. Thanks for reading
    Everything one reads suggests that the older one is with dementia, the shorter the time one is expected to survive.
    On the other hand the older one is the higher the chance of developing dementia something like 1 in 3, if over 90.
    Prognosis is generally shorter survival time for males. Certainly borne out in my experience.

    However as your grandad has already 'exceeded his male life expectancy' as his general health is good, he may well exceed expectations. My own mother has exceeded all expectations in every area.

    You may never notice deterioration as it's 'early' as many people at that stage can function for many years without too many symptoms.

    Just love him and continue to appreciate him.

    By the by 86 isn't very old age. Many more people are surviving into their 90s and 100s these days.

  3. #3
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    Actually, it is often said that early onset dementia progresses faster and more aggressively, though there are no definite studies on this yet. It can seem to progress faster in older people as they might have already had it for years and it was diagnosed quite late so they aren't in their early stages anymore. And of course, the older you get, the shorter your remaining life expectancy will be anyway. But there are people with dementia who have made it well into their nineties, so you can just never know. General health is important and if your Grandad is quite healthy, it will count for something, so just take it one day at a time.
    Just keep swimming!

  4. #4
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    Welcome Salvatore.
    I'm afraid there is no "straight answer". There are many different types of dementia, and sadly, one of the biggest risk factors for developing dementia is old age.

    As to how fast it will progress, that also will depend on a number of factors. Things like other infections or illnesses (even minor illnesses like colds), falls, changes in the environment (like stays in hospital), can all play havoc on a person with dementia, and seem to cause their dementia to move forward in leaps and bounds. Your grandfather's age will certainly not help in this regard. So, it's really difficult to say. I've seen younger people whose illness progressed very rapidly, and very elderly people who just seemed ease into dementia quite slowly. You can find more information here: https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/faq....ces_factsheets

  5. #5
    Registered User Kevinl's Avatar
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    Hi Salvatore, welcome to TP
    Just echoing what others have said, my wife was diagnosed mid 50's, at first it was quite slow but by 62 she ended up sectioned in a secure unit. Now she's in a home with people 25 years older than her who are much higher functioning than her, still have some grasp of who and where they are, still continent and much more mobile.
    I don't know where the "home country" is but he's pretty much at the life expectancy for most countries so I wouldn't worry too much.
    As has been said the accelerators are things like; infection, hospitalisation and changes to routine and environment, they're the ones that bring on the big step changes in the condition in my view.
    Many people on post on here years after their diagnosis so if he's been told it's early stages then at 86 it probably isn't too big a worry.
    K
    If you're going through hell, keep going

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate it. @kelvin I'm sorry to hear about your wife. And my home country is Italy, my grandad lived in Rome until he was 34, moving to Catania after. I'm not too sure about the life expectancy in Italy, but I'd point out that he's been a non-smoker all his life, food from the garden, along with meat, he's always been very active. Hopefully that will help to slow the decline.

    Again thanks for all the replies.

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    My mom was in her late 70's when we noticed she was getting very forgetful, although she wasn't diagnosed then, but gradually got more & more forgetful, she still managed alone at home for probably another 15 years before having carers in (apart from family that is) she is now 98, been in a care home for 2 months but is still able to wash and dress herself. Short term memory is about 10 seconds, although she sometimes surprises me and recalls the odd thing, her long term memory is still spot on.

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    @olddog99 98 is an amazing age! And my dad & I think he may of had this horrible illness a few years before he was diagnosed so I can relate. Being the man he is we think he tried to hide any symptoms, but only time will tell I guess. Thanks for your reply.

  9. #9
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    My mother showed the first signs at 81 or 2 - though I lose track now - and lived until a month after her 97th birthday.
    We never expected her to last so long - she'd come from a long-lived family - 'Good stock!' as she used to say - but even so none of them had made it past 89.
    There is just no telling.
    However I have to say that she was in a most pitiful state for her last 2 or 3 years, zero quality of life, so I can't say that lasting so long was a good thing.

  10. #10
    Registered User Marcelle123's Avatar
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    My mother showed some cognitive impairment before the age of 90 (four or five years before, in my opinion), was diagnosed as having mixed dementia at the age of 92 and will be 97 in November.

    She does not show any sign of a decline physically, and I can see her lasting at least until she's 100, though it's unpredictable, of course.

    I think sometimes 'the creaking gate hangs longest'.
    Last edited by Marcelle123; 06-06-2017 at 07:11 PM.

  11. #11
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    In my coountry 86 is very old.

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