Can a person die from dementia?

You’ve just found out your loved one has dementia and it’s devastating.

The same loved one who once was energetic and remembered details at the drop of a hat, is now losing these abilities.

And you’re wondering if a person can die from dementia.

The answer is nuanced.

While a person may not die directly from dementia, dementia predisposes them to conditions that can cause death.

That’s what we’ll cover in this post.

Can a person die from dementia?

It is unlikely that a person will die from the early stages of dementia.

Symptoms of early-stage dementia include:

  • Problems remembering recent events like the name of someone they just met.
  • Reduced concentration and focus. This progressively gets worse over time.
  • Increasing confusion.
  • Depression, withdrawal and apathy.
  • Reduced ability to complete daily tasks.

While these are all disturbing symptoms, with daily support, your loved one can continue to function successfully on a daily basis.

As dementia progresses however, you can expect to see your loved one deteriorate and that could then predispose them to other health conditions.

It is important to note that the rate at which dementia progresses is different for each individual.

Late-stage dementia and death

During the later stages of dementia, most people lose the ability to move.

With this impaired ability to move, people in late-stage dementia have an increased risk of developing infections including in their urinary tract, pneumonia (an infection of the lungs), and decubitus ulcers (bedsores).

They may also experience a difficulty eating, swallowing or drinking.

This results in weight loss and malnutrition.

People who are immobile are also at an increased risk for blood clots in their arms and legs.

And all of these health issues could be the cause of death for a person with dementia.

What you can do as a caregiver or loved one

While dementia is progressive and complications arising from it can cause death, it is important to note as a caregiver or loved one, you can do a lot to support and comfort your loved one through this time.

They can continue to play an important role in family life.

For more advice that walks you through taking care of a loved one with dementia, click here.

If you need expert caregivers for your loved one with dementia and you live in the Greater San Diego or Orange County area, Green Tree Home Care is more than happy to help you.

Give us a call at (800) 518-9277 to talk about your needs today.