How does someone die of dementia?


Death in dementia patients.

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Death in dementia patients has no single cause. Often there are co-morbidities such as heart conditions, liver or kidney failure, multiple strokes, lung deterioration. Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly. Let's say you avoid falls, give up the risk of driving and get help around the home. You will live longer, but soon you use a walker. Then a wheelchair. Then you are bedridden. Dementia progresses, so vision fails, hearing fails, digestive systems don't work right. At this point the patient loses weight. As the brain breaks down further, the heartbeat becomes irregular, breathing becomes labored. Your oxygen levels drop. Your hands and feet are numb or chilled. Food doesn't taste good so you refuse it. Swallowing water makes you choke, so you refuse it. By now you have lost a lot of weight, and you may not recognize your own family. Muscle contractions start and they are very painful. Your family gets you pain relief meds. If you hallucinate, meds for those too. Your heart may stop. Your lungs still try to get air, though. You are halfway to Heaven, but not legally dead, not for an hour or so, because the lungs are still working furiously to bring in air. You may drool. Your arms may raise and drop, your legs kick a bit as your electrolytes drop. Painful yes, but you are no longer conscious. Eventually you cross over and relax.
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This is info courtesy of very well:

"Symptoms of late-stage dementia include:
Increased incidence of infections, such as urinary-tract infections or pneumonia
Impaired motor functions, including difficulty walking and moving, which causes the individual to be bed- or chair-bound
Incontinence of bowel and bladder, leading to full dependence on others for toileting and hygiene
Loss of the ability to communicate through words
Difficulty swallowing and eating, leading to weight loss and aspiration pneumonia
Loss of facial expression, including the ability to smile
Eventual inability to sit up or hold up their head without assistance."

"Many individuals with late-stage dementia die of a medical complication, such as pneumonia or another infection. However, dementia itself can be fatal. General wasting, malnutrition and dehydration are genuine risks when an individual with dementia can no longer eat safely and/or move independently."
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True. Also, the dementia patient often dies from infections due to their immobility, compromised immune system, incontinence, and aspiration. They tend to get recurring infections that eventually don't respond to antibiotics.
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The brain controls all the functions and organs of the body. As the brain damage expands, so does organ failure with it.
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