Later stages of dementia - timeframe?

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Samantha895, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Samantha895

    Samantha895 Registered User

    Apr 8, 2019
    I'm aware that this is a sensitive question and don't wish to cause offence. I am just trying to gauge how potentially the course of dementia could pan out.

    I have a very elderly relative, she is nearly 98, who has exhibited the later stages of dementia for approximately 2 years. She is totally immobile, bed bound, eats and drinks miniscule amounts, sleeps a lot, incontinent, but still very chatty - albeit unintelligible a lot of the time. She has been like this for the past couple of years.

    We are quite frankly, amazed that that given her frail state, she continues as she does. Obviously everyone's dementia journey is different, so set timeframes can't be determined, but I am interested to know how long pwd - with no other illness - could potentially plod on for?

    It breaks my heart seeing her as a shell of her former self.
  2. garfield3

    garfield3 Registered User

    Jun 30, 2018
    I think they can hang in there for some time like that. If they don't have any other comorbities according to mum's staff nurse I spoke to. It is soo cruel. Mum isn't quite at your stage but not too far off. A youngster at 94!! :)
  3. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    How you can ever tell I don't know.
    My mother showed the first signs in her very early 80s and went on to 97, in a pitiful state of advanced dementia for her last few years. But despite looking terribly frail, her physical health was very robust - she wasn't on any meds and recovered quickly from the occasional chest infection - and from a broken hip at about 91.
    I swear the CH staff - she was there for very nearly 8 years - had begun to think she'd go on for ever - I certainly had.
    She came from a large and long-lived family, but even so none of them had quite made 90.
    But in the end, her decline was swift and sudden - all over within 36 hours.
    During her time in the CH I saw many residents arrive, decline and quietly disappear, so she was far from typical. So much will obviously depend on a person's general health to start with.
  4. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    High Peak
    Oh dear. You could be describing my mum and your experience would be my worst nightmare. I am so sorry you went through this.

    Mum is 87, care home for 2 and a half years, broke her hip a year ago, now late stage 6 I'd say. Apart from dementia she is in excellent health. All the stages of dementia are... traumatic to watch, but stage 7 is utterly heartbreaking and I know it can continue for years in an otherwise healthy person.

    I find myself watching mum for signs of progression. At present she still talks a lot but none of it makes sense and she lives in a completely deluded world. She gets lost mid-sentence, can't find words for things, talks of 'this place' and 'the other woman who was here', never any names. If you ask her to repeat something the sentence morphs into a completely different tale. She hasn't understood her relationship with me for a long while, has invented imaginary siblings, sees her dead husband and parents - all the classic stuff. But when her speech goes I will know she is moving on and I'm absolutely dreading it.

    All this is bad enough, isn't it, yet I know it only gets worse and I'm not sure I can stand a long stage 7. I desperately don't want her to see it through to the bitter end.
  5. Samantha895

    Samantha895 Registered User

    Apr 8, 2019
    Reading your post Jaded, your mum sounds so much like my grandmother. As you said, other than the dementia snd despite her immbility anf frailty, my grandmother is remarkably healthy for a 98 year old! She very rarely gets sick, I think I've had my more colds and bugs than her! She too is still able to speak. The words however, make no sense - she can't hold an intelligible conversation at all. I can't even imagine her not speaking. It's strange to think that one day, seemingly randomly, she could well just stop talking. I too worry about the next stage!
  6. BevvyJ

    BevvyJ New member

    Jul 2, 2019
    I’m reading your posts with interest but so much trepidation. My Mum is just 81 and in stage 6. She is beginning to have hallucinations and is no longer able to shower or dress herself. She has lost all sense of social etiquette, often approaching strangers to touch their clothing or take their bags. We are trying to find a suitable aged care home as her husband can no longer cope. However, Mum is incredibly fit, loves walking and rarely sits still. She rarely has any illness. I cannot begin to imagine what the years ahead are going to be like, watching her decline. My heart is already breaking.
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hello @julie mcinnes and welcome to DTP.

    No-one knows what will happen, so please dont frighten yourself with what ifs and maybes.
    Looking at care homes can be very upsetting and Im sure you are feeling very emotional - its quite a daunting step.
    Im sure you will find the right place for your mum and she will settle - my mum thrived in her care home.

    Now you have found us, do continue posting

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