Dr. Susan Mitchell of Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research and Harvard Medical School led a study of 323 patients with end-stage dementia at 22 nursing homes near Boston. Writing in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, they report that the life expectancy for advanced dementia patients was close to what late-stage cancer or congestive heart failure patients might anticipate. Like dying cancer patients, the dementia patients also experienced infections, fever, and eating problems.
“Dementia is a terminal illness,” Mitchell said in an interview. “When families understand this is the end stage, most of them will want comfort care as the goal.”
Read full story (The Boston Globe)