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Dementia at a very old age

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Salvatore 172, May 13, 2017.

  1. Salvatore 172

    Salvatore 172 Registered User

    May 13, 2017
    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. lemonjuice

    lemonjuice Registered User

    Jun 15, 2016
    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. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    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.
  4. LadyA

    LadyA Volunteer Host

    Oct 19, 2009
    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.php?faq=resources#faq_resources_factsheets
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    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.
  6. Salvatore 172

    Salvatore 172 Registered User

    May 13, 2017
    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.
  7. OldDog99

    OldDog99 Registered User

    Feb 14, 2017
    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.
  8. Salvatore 172

    Salvatore 172 Registered User

    May 13, 2017
    @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. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    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. Marcelle123

    Marcelle123 Registered User

    #10 Marcelle123, Jun 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
    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'.
  11. felix1977

    felix1977 Registered User

    Jun 13, 2017
    In my coountry 86 is very old.
  12. veglady

    veglady Registered User

    Jun 28, 2017
    My mum is 92 and has just gone into a carehome as she was not looking after herself very well and ended up in hospital. Dont really know how long she has had mixed dementia (alzeimers and vascular dementia) but was diagnosed last year and to bad to have tablets to slow it down. She had a sister who passed last year age 95 and still has a sister 94 that is ok. My mum has got worse since being in hospital.
  13. netsy22

    netsy22 Registered User

    Oct 31, 2015
    Where do you live, Felix?
  14. Grandad'sGirl

    Grandad'sGirl Registered User

    Jun 29, 2017
    Age is just a number!!


    I hear your concerns but my Grandad was also diagnosed with Dementia (aged 82) he is now 84 years young and he is still in the early stages!! I am glad to tell you that despite your Grandad's age, the disease will work at its own rate (I know its annoying to hear as it isn't a solid answer) but it really does effect everyone differently!! A lot is also to do with the diagnosis and how early on it was caught.... We were very very lucky as my mom has worked in this field and was well aware of my Grandads decline way before any of us would have picked up on anything. Therefore he has been put on medication and this will assist in slowing down the affects of Dementia.

    It is so hard to come to terms with when someone you love is affected by this directly - It affects us all (the whole family!!) but when that diagnosis is in place all we can do from there is to help someone living with Dementia live well :):)

    I intend to do this, my Grandad enjoys a beer so he goes out whenever he wants too!! He loves gardening, he potters around his garden and I pay him to come and do mine, all I can advise is don't been thinking to far ahead on what will be and help him to enjoy the now. Every moment is a blessing despite age or health issues and we should always enjoy the now.
  15. Josiec

    Josiec Registered User

    Jul 22, 2017
    Alzeimers diagnosis at 85yrs old.

    My husband was diagnosed with Dementia 3yrs ago, but no referral by a Consultant was advised until this year when the Consultant confirmed Alzeimers, he is 85yrs old, and I am his sole carer,we have advisory help from Admiral Nurses, and Social Services, but as my husband was in total denial and refused help offered, the situation is at crisis point, and I can no longer cope, feel totally exhausted, and at breaking point, I have been offered respite week ends, but my husband refuses to accept any one to sit with him, attend respite days with other sufferers., and causes problems when I have to go out shopping or even a walk, or visit friends. I receive no financial help whatsoever, have applied for Attendance Allowance 3months ago, still waiting for response. I have also requested Alzeimers drugs, which have also been denied due to his age. Any advise any one how on earth am I expected to cope.?? Josiec.
  16. LadyA

    LadyA Volunteer Host

    Oct 19, 2009
    Hi Josie. I'm sorry things are so difficult for you at the moment.
    Can I suggest you contact the Dementia Helpline, who are a fountain of knowledge! They can be contacted on 0300 222 1122 or by email at helpline@alzheimers.org.uk.

    Helpline opening hours:
    Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm
    Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm
    Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm

    People with dementia rarely want carers or "sitters" coming in. It's something new and different, and therefore something they don't know how to deal with, so the automatic response is to reject it, and insist on only the familiar face being there! However, if you become ill, or get burned out, then who will take care of your husband? I'd chase up the Attendance Allowance too. It is an important "flag" to SS, from what I understand, that your husband is vulnerable.

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