A patient with dementia may live for many years. The presence of several clinical findings may indicate a patient who may only have a few months to live.

Patient selection: chronic, irreversible dementia


Criteria for increased risk of mortality in a patient with dementia - all of the following:

(1) unable to walk without assistance

(2) unable to dress without assistance

(3) unable to bathe properly without assistance

(4) urinary and/or fecal incontinence

(5) inability to speak or communicate meaningfully, with speech limited to only a few words


The presence of one or more significant comorbid illnesses further increases the risk:

(1) malnutrition from difficulty swallowing or refusal to eat

(2) recurrent infection (sepsis, pyelonephritis, aspiration pneumonia, etc.)

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