Frequently asked questions

Find answers to common questions about dementia.

What is the general life expectancy of a person with dementia? 

This depends a little on what type of dementia the person in question has. However, Alzheimer’s disease has a protracted progression lasting from three or four to over ten years – and in some cases even longer. It varies greatly depending on the individual.

Can dementia be cured? 

No, there is currently no curative treatment. However, medication is available to relieve the symptoms of certain types of dementia. There is also nowadays a great deal of knowledge as to how to relieve the various symptoms that often occur in dementia.

Can I be vaccinated against dementia?

No, unfortunately that is not yet possible. Research into a vaccine for dementia is in progress right now, but none is yet available on the market.

Why do people get dementia?

The cause of dementia diseases has not been fully established, but what is quite clear is that there is a hereditary element and that our lifestyle also affects the likelihood of developing dementia.

How old do you have to be to develop dementia?

It is usually older people over the age of 65 who are affected by dementia. Unfortunately, however, people under 65 can also be affected.

Can I have a test to see whether or not I will develop dementia?

Currently, there are no simple, reliable tests available – nor any curative treatment. On the other hand, it is important to see your doctor if you are worried about any symptoms that you do not recognise.

What is the likelihood of me developing dementia?

The research lends some support to the assertion that “Alzheimer’s runs in the family”. People with one or more family members with Alzheimer’s disease are at twice to three times the risk of succumbing to the disease themselves. The risk is greater if both parents have had Alzheimer’s than if only one has had the disease. It is also greater if the onset was earlier in life (before the age of 65).

How should I approach my parents with dementia?

You can find tips on how to approach a person with dementia under “For relatives” – “Our daily life” – “Advice for daily life”.

What sort of support can my family receive in the home?

In many places, support is available from “social services” and “non-profit” organisations. Check what is currently offered where you live.