article on Dementia as cause of death.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by LadyA, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    This caught my eye, on the death of Margaret Thatcher.,0,117196.story

    I find it interesting, because my husband gets one respiratory infection after another, and I know if he dies from one of them eventually, that would be listed as cause of death - but I also know he wouldn't be getting them were it not for his Alzheimer's Disease! I think it would be a good thing if Drs. were to put dementia or Alzheimers Disease as cause of death - with resp. infection or stroke or whatever as secondary. So many people still don't realise. Just recently, talking to my mother about someone who had had Alz. disease for years and who had died, she said "I wonder what she died of?" - and I said "Presumably the Alzheimers Disease." and she was so shocked - she had never known that it was a terminal illness, and that eventually my husband will die from it, or complications caused by it.
  2. Butter

    Butter Registered User

    Jan 19, 2012
    Yes. I remember the hoops my grandmother jumped through to show us all my grandfather died of pneumonia not vascular dementia. She wanted a kind of public reading of the death certificate.
    It is all a matter of educating us all.
  3. Jenijill

    Jenijill Registered User

    Mar 12, 2012
    An enlightening article. Her dementia is mentioned hardly at all in the UK.

    My mum had DLB, but broke her hip after falling. She never left hospital, but the cause of death was heart failure and pneumonia. But everything arose from her dementia, but no reference to in on her death certificate! At the time (2003) I didn't question it, but now with my husband having recuring infections and severe swallowing problems, I'm much more aware.

  4. Padraig

    Padraig Registered User

    Dec 10, 2009
    My wife's death certificate has cause of death: Alzheimer's. When I read it I was shocked, not at the cause of death, but the signature of the doctor. It had the same initial and surname as my wife's maiden name. Only later I learned while the surnames were the same, the Christian name initial J, was not Jean but Johnathan.
  5. winda

    winda Registered User

    Oct 17, 2011
    My husband's death certificate had pneumonia & Alzheimer's as cause of death, which I thought was fair enough.
  6. treecol

    treecol Registered User

    Mar 22, 2013
    Very interesting, thanks for posting. Dad has just come home from CH on respite with a terrible chest infection & he has angina most nights, so it sounds as if these extra complications he has may be as a result of AD. But I suspect one day his death cert will list the cause of death as something other than AD.
  7. sah

    sah Registered User

    Apr 20, 2009
    I totally agree that it should be shown-the number of people who think my husband is just going to get a little more forgetful is staggering! They are visibly shocked when I 'remind' them it's a terminal disease.

    This doesn't just happen with AD though; both my parents died from cancer. Mum's certificate said kidney failure( at 4 and a half stone and totally dehydrated from stomach cancer-no surprise there then) whilst dad's said 'old age'. No wonder statistics are so skewed.:rolleyes:
  8. Pross

    Pross Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    South east
    Yes, my mothers cause of death was stated to be 'old age'. I thought at the time, and still do now, that it was a very ignorant and unprofessional statement.
  9. Roma

    Roma Registered User

    Jan 15, 2008
    My mother's death certificate read only one cause of death - dementia - which was accurate as she didn't get pneumonia, she just lost the ability to eat and drink, caused by her brain shutting down which of course shut everything else down.

    Roma x
  10. Linda Mc

    Linda Mc Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    Nr Mold
    You can ask that it is recorded on the certificate I intend to do so when the time comes.
  11. angelface

    angelface Registered User

    Oct 8, 2011
    My aunt who died last year had 'senile dementia' as cause of death. Is it a bit old fashioned to call it that now?
  12. sussexsue

    sussexsue Registered User

    Jun 10, 2009
    West Sussex
    I had planned to do that for my mum, but when the time came I just didn't have the energy and just went with the pneumonia the doctor put on the certificate. No mention of the dementia that had destroyed both her body and mind over the preceding 10 years, nor the catastrophic effects of almost constant UTI's. Just pneumonia, and that was just because she had suffered from a chest infection for a few days before she died.

    Strangely it is one of my biggest regrets.
  13. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    That's good - well I will be asking when the time comes for William. His family insisted on trying to hide his condition for ages - as did a lot of other people - because he was well known and highly thought of in their circles. In the end, I had to write and explain to some people that he had written highly abusive letters to, accusing them of trying to cheat him! Most of them responded along the lines of "Ah. I had partly guessed as much."
  14. geum123

    geum123 Registered User

    May 20, 2009
    On Dads death certificate the first Doctor had put cause of death, Old age.

    The second doctor asked did I agree, so I said no.
    Dementia killed my Dad.
    He agreed and said yes it normally did, and so added that to the certificate.

    How can statistics be accurate when misinformation is fed into the system.:(

    Oh the one hand I thought, do they say he died of old age because of the sensibilities of the family :confused::confused: Stigma from a bygone age????

    and cynically
    Would they prefer dementia still to be seen as social need and not a health need.:rolleyes:
  15. larivy

    larivy Registered User

    Apr 19, 2009
    My mums had Motor nuerones and Alzheimer's on it the gp asked us if that was ok as she agreed both diseases played their part Larivy
  16. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    For my mother, I will insist on having Alzheimer's put on the death certificate, if it is the primary cause i.e. swallowing difficulties leading to pneumonia etc. I think it's very important that Alzheimer's be acknowledged as the terminal disease it is.

    Yes, it really is amazing how many do not realize that it is a terminal disease.
  17. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    Yes - I think it's only when Alzheimer's and other Dementias are acknowledge more and more as terminal diseases that (a) the stigma will be eased and (b) it will not be regarded as a "normal" part of ageing, and will get the attention and resources it deserves. Or will it? Because of course, it will remain for the majority of cases, a disease of the elderly - who are going to die anyway, and I suspect it is more circumspect for health services and governments to sweep this terminal disease under the carpet as it were, as much as they can, and put their limited resources toward younger people, who, if they can cure them, have a chance of becoming "productive" members of society. Am I cynical? Maybe - maybe I am seeing too many austerity cutbacks that are aimed at the elderly, the disabled and those who are caring for them.
  18. Contrary Mary

    Contrary Mary Registered User

    Jun 11, 2010
    Greater London
    I was present when Mum died and when the doctor arrived to verify the death I asked if VaD would be included on the death certificate, even though the actual thing that Mum finished up was an infection. I have no way of knowing if I needed to speak,but I was pleased (well, you know what I mean) that it was on the certificate and there was an "official acknowledgment" of the damage wrought by the dementia.

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