The later stages of dementia

5. Concentration, planning and organisation

The person may also develop increasing difficulties with other mental abilities, such as concentrating, planning and organising. For instance, they may only be able to carry out simple activities, or not be able to concentrate for too long. They may be increasingly disorientated and have difficulties recognising where they are. They may have a limited understanding of time.

Meaningful activities

However, the person may still get enjoyment from past hobbies, interests and activities. Find opportunities to make these meaningful. This could be doing anything that the person benefits from whether this is enjoyment, fulfilment or comfort.

Even if they are restricted with what they can manage, they can still enjoy the feelings and sensations of an activity. For example, they may enjoy the feel of wool even if they can no longer knit, or listening to favourite songs even if they can’t sing along. In the later stages people may respond more to things that stimulate their senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste), than to words. Think of ways to stimulate the person’s senses and help with how they feel in that moment. For example, they may enjoy stroking a pet, tasting their favourite food or looking at familiar photos.