Dementing illnesses average 7-10 years in length with many patients living as long as 20 years. Families always want to know what state of the illness their loved one is in, what comes next, and how long the person will live. While no one can answer the last question, the first two are a bit easier.
Most experts agree that there are up to seven stages of dementing illness. We can define each stage using tests, such as counting backwards by 7’s or 5’s. It is easier to look at the person’s usual day to day function and make an estimate. The seven stages can be viewed here!