RSS Feed Print
How fast will vascular demetia progress?
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 5:12 PM
Joined: 2/3/2017
Posts: 4

Hi, this is my first post. My husband was diagnosed with vascular dememtia in October 2016. He has been medically retired for 2 years for heart failure, but with proper rest and medication is stable. He just can't do much b/c of his weak heart. He had symptoms for 3 yrs before his diagnosis but refused to see the doctor. He was put on Nameda and Depocot. Without the medications he has outbursts and does unsafe things, like leaving the gas stove in the ignite position and leaving our 2 yr  old grandson outside by himself.

With the medication he seemed fine. However, I have asked him to change the bed sheets with me for the last 3 wks. Each time he has become markedly confused  on how to his side. Its alarming at the change in just 3 weeks. His next neuro apt is in May. Should I call the doctor sooner?

Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 6:38 PM
Joined: 9/30/2016
Posts: 74

Hi Liz,

Sorry to hear of your situation. I will post on both your threads. Vascular dementia has no time line. It affects everyone differently. As with your husband, other existing health issues play a role also. My DH age 55 was diagnosed 3/2015 with VaD. Was showing symptoms since 2010. 

He's doing well. On no memory/mood meds. He is on blood thinner, cholesterol and blood pressure medicine. 

Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 6:42 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020

All dementias have their own timeline and generally someone could have a great many years left. With vascular dementia it usually hold fairly steady with sudden drops in functioning.

Sorry re the dx.

Mimi S.
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 7:08 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027

And if helping change the bed linen is confusing him, stop.
Iris L.
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 11:19 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18520

Welcome, Liz.  Vascular Dementia is due to poor blood flow in the brain and correlated with cardiovascular disease.  The loss in brain functions depend upon the areas of the brain that are impacted. Some people have small vessel disease, which is more diffuse.  Others may have one or more strokes, in which the area affected is more isolated and discreet.  Strict attention to cardiovascular issues, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, arrhythmias, etc, can possibly delay further decline, emphasis on possibly, because no one can tell for sure.  

Your husband seems to be in a moderate stage.  Although there are no recognized stages for vascular dementia as there are for Alzheimer's Disease, you might review his functional level on the FAST chart, because it may guide you as to the caregiving areas to focus attention on.  For example, he should not be caregiving or baby sitting a two year old.  He does not have the capacity for that, by your own words.  He should not use the stove.  My first interaction with the wonderful caregivers on this board was their advice for me not to use the stove, because it had become unsafe for me.  After following Best Practices, I can now use the stove, within limits.  

Safety is a priority, and the main website,, has a great section on home safety.  Also, you should think about a Medic-Alert bracelet for him, and register him with your local police department.

This site can help you estimate the stage that you husband is in.

Please look around the entire message board and for education.  The caregivers have a page with good online reading material.  If you visit the Spouse/Partner board, you will find many other members in your situation.  Best wishes to you and your husband.

Iris L.

Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2017 11:11 AM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1186

LizP, I'm not sure how old your husband is, but, I assume that he's young.  I just wanted to share what I observed with my cousin. VD is such a mystery.  

   My cousin was diagnosed with VD at age 62.  She had a rapid progression in that she went from running her own household, paying bills, meals, driving, etc.  to being unable to live alone, little memory of her life history, extreme balance issues, poor judgment, inability to operate tv remote, practically no short term memory, within a matter of a few months.  MRI showed multiple strokes.  She went on medication to address blood pressure and diabetes and that was brought under control, as she entered into AL. 

 Soon thereafter she began to wander.  Within 6 months, she was in a secure MC unit, double incontinent, wheelchair bound with no memory of her life history, except for her parents, my parents and I. She has maintained excellent control of her diabetes and blood pressure with the meds administered in MC, but has continued to progress with her dementia.  At age 65, she now has profound dementia, at times does not know her name and struggles with verbal communication.  Can barely transfer from wheelchair. She does still eat well and is not prone to sleep much.  She can still use her feet to propel herself in her wheelchair, but not her hands. 

I have sought out other people's experiences of how their VD has progressed, but, I get very varying stories. I appreciate you sharing.