My mother and I have both said, repeatedly, that if we come down with AD we'll kill ourselves rather than be a burden.
However, it seems like we aren't allowing my dad the same choice. When he talks of suicide we dismiss it or try to stop him.
I was wondering how many people with AD kill themselves. Here's what I found:
In the Netherlands, 22% of those diagnosed with Alzheimers elect assisted suicide.
The Alzheimer's Association website has a 2 page PDF about suicide with no facts/figures. Their position is that no one should actively commit suicide or help another with it (Kevorkian is mentioned) and that refusal of treatment is different, and that's okay.
The abstract of another article says about 8% of AD patients attempt suicide.
When you think about how many people have AD--what is it, 14 million?--that's 1 million, one hundred twenty THOUSAND suicide attempts. 1,120,000. Nothing about successes.
This cause of death list says AD moved up to number 7 in 2004 (last available year) with almost 66,000 deaths. Suicide is #11 but it doesn't break it down by WHY people killed themselves.
I found this kind of random series of journal excerpts from a man who worries he has AD and the final entry is that he does, and he mentions suicide. His site is very interesting and I've written to him.
But the end result is, after an hour of Google, I can't find any real stats except that one tiny study.