A new report says a staggering 1 in 3 people over 65 has Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia when they die.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's, and barring a breakthrough, everyone who gets it eventually will die with it. But Tuesday's report from the Alzheimer's Association highlights the impact for older adults. The report shows that even if dementia isn't the cause of death it can be a final blow that speeds the decline from other illnesses.
Patients may forget to take pills for diabetes, for example. They might be unable to express symptoms until an infection gets bad. They're hospitalized more often. And severe Alzheimer's prevents swallowing and moving around in ways that can trigger pneumonia, a main cause of death for these patients.