Short article: How do people die from Alzheimer's

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Date Joined Oct 2006
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   Posted 8/31/2016 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I found this very short article this morning (posted after Gene Wilder's death from Alzheimer's) that explains what dying from complications due to Alzheimer's means. My father's complications, like several of the ones mentioned in the article, caused his death before his memory had completely faded:


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 9/14/2016 8:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you that was informative
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/27/2016 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Interesting read. Thanks for sharing, JaSanne! When the average person thinks of Alzheimer's, all they think of are the effects it has on one's memory. However, there are so many other more physical effects this disease has on the body. This article does a great job of informing readers that Alzheimer's is so much more than memory loss.

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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2082
   Posted 9/30/2016 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
You're welcome. That's the thing we learned with my father - he suffered physically from organ failure and it outpaced his memory decline. Before my father was diagnosed, I hadn't really thought about the disease affecting the portions of the brain that control the rest of the body, though I should have.
56 yr. old--CD over 44 yr. Hemi-colectomy '01; spinal cord injury '01; fistulae since '97; enteropathic arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, scoliosis, rotator cuff injuries

Steve n Dallas
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4840
   Posted 10/1/2016 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   
My 86 year old mom was recently diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer. My sister and I looked at each other and said great. Do we put her through hell to try and fix that so she can die a horrible death from Alzheimer's?

I have since learned a new term.... Instead of DNR (do not resuscitate) I learned about "AND" - Allow Natural Death.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/3/2016 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Very interesting for sure. My grandpa died from starvation when he had Alzheimers. They told us he just forgot how to swallow. What a terrible way to die.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 2/5/2017 12:01 PM (GMT -6)   
JerryRosen, that's horrific.

It is true that in the very final stages of Alzheimer's, people can lose control of the muscles that regulate swallowing.

However, there are a whole range of alternatives that can be used to ensure a person gets nutrition.

If the swallowing deficit is minor, the person can have thickened fluids and a soft diet, with help and supervision with feeding.

If more serious, a nasogastric tube (tube inserted via the nose and leading to stomach) or PEG feed (tube inserted directly into stomach) can be used to provide a liquid meal with fortified with all nutrients.

The only justification for withholding food would be if it was absolutely clear that your grandfather would die imminently. Then the above measures might be seen as causing unnecessary suffering, or prolonging it.

If your grandfather was not in that situation, I can't see any justification for allowing him to starve. Maybe you should speak to a lawyer?

Justice will be ours.

For informative articles, please see: (my site was recently down due to google reporting it as hacked - hope to have it restored eventually)
See also: (Spirochaetal Alzheimer's Association) (Dr MacDonald's Duray research association)
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