Late-stage dementia can be very difficult for both for carers and for those living with the condition. While dementia can affect people differently, these are some of the most common symptoms you can expect to see as the condition progresses.
1. Difficulty eating and swallowing
People living with late-stage dementia often find it difficult to chew and to swallow. Choose soft food to help them cope and cut solids into bite-sized chunks.
2. Full time personal care
Your loved one will need help with every aspect of their personal care as their dementia progresses. They’ll need help going to the toilet, having a bath, brushing their teeth and getting dressed.
3. Inability to walk
Dementia can take away a person’s ability to walk. In the later stages of the condition, those living with dementia will need to be carried from place to place and won’t be able to support their own weight.
4. Inability to talk
Talking is also likely to become difficult and then impossible as dementia progresses. While people living with dementia may still be able to say the odd word, they’ll find it more and more of a challenge to form sentences and make themselves understood.
5. Using the toilet
Those with late-stage dementia often forget to go to the toilet and may lose the ability to know when they need to urinate or defecate. If you’re caring for someone with dementia, keep a careful note of when they go to the toilet so you can pre-empt their needs and help them to stay clean.
6. Pressure sores
As people with late-stage dementia can’t move around easily by themselves, they often end up staying in the same position for extended periods of time. This can cause pressure sores to develop on the skin. Avoid this by regularly moving them into different positions and by keeping their skin clean and dry.
Late-stage dementia can make those living with the condition more susceptible to infection. You’ll need to watch out for signs of infection and get your loved one medical attention if their health begins to fail.
8. Inability to communicate pain
As communication becomes more difficult, those living with late-stage dementia may struggle to tell you that they’re in pain. It’s important that carers watch for signs of pain like wincing and sensitivity, and adjust their care accordingly.
9. Round the clock care
People living with late-stage dementia will require round the clock care. As they can’t eat, drink, walk or use the toilet by themselves, they need people there at all times to assist them.
10. End of life care
As dementia reaches its final stages, you’ll need to think about end of life care. Talk to your local hospices and other related organisations to find out what’s available in your area.
Learn more about the help and support available to those living with dementia, and their loved ones, by exploring our site or getting in touch with a member of our team.