If not familiar, dementia is a progressive disorder that affects cognitive function and can eventually lead to death… and it actually does. The progression of dementia varies from person-to-person, and it can take several years or even perhaps decades to progress from the initial onset of symptoms to the end-stages of the disease.
In the early stages of dementia, the individual may experience mild memory loss, difficulty with language, and changes in mood and behavior. As the disease progresses, the individual may experience significant memory loss, difficulty with activities of daily living, and communication problems. In the later stages of the disease, the individual may become completely dependent on others for care, losing the ability to speak, and experiencing a decline in physical health.
The end-stages of dementia are often characterized by a significant decline in physical health, including difficulty swallowing, increased risk of infections, and severe weight loss. The individual may become increasingly unresponsive and may eventually slip into a coma or pass away, not seemingly knowing their long-time spouses, children, friends, and others.
It is important to note that while dementia is a progressive and terminal disease, not all individuals with dementia will experience the same symptoms or progression of the disease. Additionally, there are many factors that can impact the progression of the disease, including age, overall health, and the specific type of dementia a person has.
Featured photo by Matthias Zomer