There are many factors. What kind of dementia, ex Alzheimer's, Vascular etc.
Then another factor is the person's medical and nutritional state: namely, how are one's vital organs functioning, heart, lung, liver, kidneys. Are they able to eat and drink fluids?
The next factor is how far along has the dementia progressed. Example what stage of Alzheimer's is a person in. The actual stage is more significant than how long a person has had the diagnosis. In other words a person might have had dementia for many years and then the diagnosis was made later on in the course, when the dementia has already progressed.
When somone is dying from dementia, as family members, we want reassurance, will it be a long time or short time, some kind of clarity and certainty, so we can prepare, if that is possible and somehow be in control. Unfortunately no doctor has a crystal ball, and no one can ever be 100% certain.
If a person is in relatively good health except for the dementia, and in one of the middle stages, one would want to know why the seizures are occurring now. Is there a traceable cause, and sometimes and often the seizures can be treated. Rmember there are many different causes for seizures. A family member would want to ask the doctor:
What type of dementia? What stage of dementia? Does he or she think the seizures are from the dementia or something else? Can and should the seizures be treated?
I hope that helps a little, it is very frustrating not knowing, There are many questions and some answers may probably not offer too much clarity in the end. I hope you can gain some reassurance and understanding from the doctors and caregivers, and I'm sorry for your pain. Hang in there and God Bless.
I'm so glad you're asking questions - I hope you're getting answers from your grandpa's health care providers.
One thing I'd encourage you to do it to find ways to enjoy visiting with him, even if he does have advanced dementia. You'd be surprised how important contact from family is, even when the person doesn't seem to recognize you or remember that you visited. It's still important to his quality of life, and you'll be surprised how much enjoyment you can gain from it too. But you might already know this!
Take in photos of your own life to share with him. Take in some special treat that has old fashioned roots, like a slice of pumpkin pie. It might bring all sorts of memories up in his mind, whether he can share them or not.
Tell funny stories; ask him questions about stories in his life and watch his face when he answers. He may not be able to put the words together, but you might just see the spark come into his eyes when he tries to tell you about some adventure in his earlier life. Laugh together, hug him as much as you can. You'll value this so much when he's gone, and you can be confident that you're contributing to his quality of life right now, too.
Good luck to you and your grandfather. He's lucky to have you!
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