Dementia Care Site Map
Late Stage Dementia


By the time a person reaches the late stage of dementia they will gradually need more help with continual supervision and assistance.


Their speech may deteriorate to the point where they can no longer be understood. Loss of memory may become very pronounced, with the person unable to recognise familiar objects or surroundings or even those closest to them, although there may be sudden flashes of recognition.


At times these deficits can contribute to frustration, usually because the person does not understand their surroundings. It is important not to take the associated behaviours as a personal attack.


By using appropriate communication techniques you can continue to maintain a warm, meaningful relationship with the person. Communicate in a positive manner, use warm facial expressions and appropriate eye contact. Communicate feelings of worth and affection.


See more tips and ideas on how to communicate with a person with late stage dementia in Language & Communication.


Symptoms of the late stages of dementia may include:


  • The person may experience an inability to recognise family and friends or even everyday objects, however the person will still respond positively to a warm, friendly face. They can still show emotion and respond to affection.


  • They may also experience an inability to locate their own room and bed, their environment becomes less familiar.


  • Short term memory loss may become more apparent and the person may totally forget recent events such as eating a meal or remembering a recent visitor


  • Continence issues may arise.


  • The person may experience difficulty eating and swallowing.


  • Mobility may also become more difficult.


Please remember that even though the person may seem to not be able to understand the things that are being said, or they may appear to have limited connection to the environment surrounding them, there is a very good chance that they will still respond to affection, a calm soothing voice, music or stroking a pet.