677 Dementia Deaths Have More Than Doubled—but How Exactly Can It Kill You?

Speech Materals

When dementia becomes advanced, a person’s brain tissue shrinks and they cannot care for themselves or even communicate. Over time, this can lead to a slew of deadly complications from the disease, Dr. Merrill says.

Infections
Many people with dementia have eating problems, like difficulty swallowing. When a person can’t swallow properly, food or drink can end up in their lungs, where it can cause pneumonia. A patient may also become dehydrated or malnourished due to the inability to swallow.

Illnesses that aren’t detected right away
“People with advanced dementia aren’t able to express through language the fact that they’re feeling ill so there may be later detection of an illness,” Dr. Merrill says.

Fatal falls
“People with dementia tend to lose insight about their limitations and may still take risks that they wouldn’t in the past, like forgetting that they can’t walk without assistance,” Dr. Merrill says. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in people aged 65 or older, according to the CDC.

I – Word Understanding
Slew – a large number of
Pneumonia – infection of lungs

II – Have Your Say
1. Normal memory issues due to aging? Or is it dementia? Know the early signs of dementia:
a. Repetitively asking the same question
b. Forgetting a word/phrase or idea when speaking
c. Inserting the wrong word in conversation, such as saying “chair” instead of “sofa”
d. Taking longer to complete daily chores, tasks, or affairs (e.g. paying bills or managing the mail)
e. Frequently misplacing objects/items around the house
f. Getting lost while walking or driving in a relatively familiar areas
g. Having sudden or unexplained changes in mood, personality or behavior without a clear reason
2. What are the common issues or problems concerning dementia patients in your country?
a. Driving
b. Getting lost / missing
c. Caregiving

677 Dementia Deaths Have More Than Doubled—but How Exactly Can It Kill You?

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