What is the life expectancy of person in the 'severe' stage of Alzheimer's disease?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 26, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What is the life expectancy of person in 'severe' stage of Alzheimer's disease?

Expert Answers

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

It is almost impossible to determine life expectancy in somebody with severe Alzheimer's disease. It is because people do not die of Alzheimer's disease itself, but of complications, most often pneumonia or another infection. It is difficult to predict when they will get an infection and if they get it, if they will recover from it. It is possible to predict if somebody will die in a week but longer prediction is very inaccurate.