Like any disease, the life expectancy for those suffering from Alzheimer’s varies, depending on various factors. The age in which an individual is diagnosed and the length of each stage will impact their life expectancy, as well as suffering from any other underlying health conditions.
On average, those who are diagnosed in their 70s, for instance, will live long than those who are diagnosed in their mid-80s. In many cases, being diagnosed in the early stages can also help expand one’s life. Although some individuals may live for twenty years following their diagnosis, others will only live a couple of years. On average, the expected lifespan after diagnosis is eight to ten years.
I Have Just Been Diagnosed, How Long Will I Live?
Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can be a tough thing to hear and accept. Just like that, your world changes. Although many worry about their children, their memories, and their general health, life expectancy is a common area of concern.
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition that affects individuals in various stages. The effects these stages have on an individual will vary from case to case. Also, the rate in which one’s symptoms progress will have a major impact on their life expectancy.
Those who are diagnosed after the age of 65, tend to live an average of eight years or so. Some will live for twenty years while others will only live for three or four. This is why it’s critical to seek advice early on, as certain treatments can help slow the progression of symptoms when they’re mild and detected within the earliest stage.
Caring For A Loved One with Alzheimer’s
Although there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s, it’s important to support a healthy lifestyle moving forward. If your loved one was recently diagnosed, they may still be highly independent. It will be up to your to encourage an active, balanced lifestyle and increase their levels of safety as their condition progresses.
Unfortunately, many individuals with Alzheimer’s die due to other illnesses within the later stages of their disease. This is because individuals deteriorate, struggling to fight off infections and common ailments. To help them maintain positive health, prepare plenty of nutrient-rich meals that include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s also important to reduce their risk of choking, as swallowing food can be a challenge.
As their condition progresses, they will become increasingly confused and wandering can be an issue. To avoid any tragic accidents, make their immediate environment safe. Reduce clutter, install safety knobs on the stove, put away any toxic cleaners, have a steady handrail, and address anything else that may be unsafe. In doing so, you can help them prolong their life.
Wegerer, Jennifer. (2014). The Evolution of Alzheimer’s from Early to Late Stages. Alzheimer’s.net. Retrieved from http://www.alzheimers.net/2014-04-10/how-alzheimers-evolves/