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Progression of Alzheimers


Registered User
Jan 2, 2016
I went to a care home today to have a look round. Was lovely in that it was so clean and no funny smells at all. Had entertainment happening. The doors were colour coded. A ratio of 1:4 staff for patients and 1:7 at night. They have sensors on the bed if anyone gets up at night and are tended to. The manager was really proud of her home and said she was previously an NHS nurse. All great.

I was talking to her about dads dementia/Alzheimers and where he was. Dad symptoms since summer keep progressing and every week there is something else. The most recent is saying people are changing their coats in the house and hanging their faces on the door hooks. Then he will be normal and be able to write down my phone number and reciting it. Yesterday I rung to say I was on my way home and I was going to run a bath. When I got in he had started the bath off for me. I get glimpses of normality mixed with moments of complete madness!

I explained all this and she said dads Alzheimers sounds quite progressive and things are likely to go downhill quite quickly. Is she right????? Does it progress at the same rate? If so I need to make plans because it sounds like dads has progressed really quickly! I didn't think Alzheimers progressed like that and thought I could be at this stage for years. Everyone seems to tell you different things!!


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
Unfortunately there is no way of knowing how quickly dementia will progress. I asked mums consultant the same question and he said "how long is a piece of string?"
Every persons dementia journey is different. 2 years ago mums dementia became apparent and, like you, every week I was seeing something new. I began to think that she wouldnt last the year. Then, suddenly it all leveled out and there was hardly any progression. Now I am beginning to see the progression again, though not as quickly as before. I frequently wish that I had been given a functioning crystal ball at the dementia diagnosis!!
The only thing you can do is hope for the best and plan for the worst.


Registered User
Sep 10, 2011
hi, from what ive learned from my parents I'd say your dad's not as affected as you've been told. has she met your dad yet? I was told my mum and dad would become 'de-skilled' quickly on moving to residential care. sure they have in some ways but they are safe and say they are happy (I believe them). the quirky things my dad says sound similar to yours! i guess it's all too easy for people to generalise about stages/progression of dementia. I heard someone say if you've met 1 person with dementia then you've met 1 person with dementia. each is different, although there'll be similarities.


Registered User
May 21, 2014
He can still write down a phone number and run a bath! I can't remember when my OH could last do that. He's doubly incontinent, can't get a single point on the MMSE test anymore, has mostly stopped speaking as he can't find the words and needs supervision and help with everything, including how to blow his nose. He's made this journey in about five years.

Yet, he's a very mobile, otherwise fairly healthy and content person, frequently giggling at things that aren't funny, and still living at home with me. He loves his day care centre and the walks with his sitters.

So, what I am trying to say is, everyone is different and no one can or should try to predict progression rates, especially if they only serve to scare people.


Registered User
Feb 19, 2012
East Yorkshire UK
Mum is still at home alone and managing with care 7 years after diagnosis. We found that her Aricept smoothed out some of the bumps and stabilised her although she has gradually deteriorated over time and will continue to do this no doubt. A hard call to make!


Registered User
Jan 2, 2016
Thanks guys. I didn't think she was right on saying this. Even though she has the cleanest home I have ever seen!!!!! I would consider respite but I don't know if it's homely enough for permanent care.

I have had dad on stage 6 in my mind with all these almost physcotic things I said above, asking where my sister is (never had one) and where is mum (she passed away 7 years ago). Then a couple of weeks ago he started on occasion being incontinent. Tonight has been the same. He has been wandering a bit and sometimes has no clue who I am. Most of the time he doesn't believe he is at home. Then yet he does some things that I said above. I am learning this disease is extremely complicated and to take each day as it comes!!!


Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
If you’re a person who has a diagnoses of dementia you will probably compare everyone with dementia like yourself , and when we talk of how long will it last etc. it would be great to know the age of the person , for instance a person diagnose at age of 85-86 could possibly have a dementia life span of 3 to 4 years whereas a person aged 56-57 could have 33 to 34 years dementia life span providing there are no other illnesses , dementia is a progressive illness not something that happens overnight unless of course the person suffers some sort of brain damage like a stroke or accident