The later stages of dementia

Learn more about sleep disturbance and people with dementia.

When a person is in the later stages of dementia (also known as advanced or severe dementia) they are likely to be much more frail. They will probably rely on others for much of their care. The later stages can be hard to define and everyone will go through them in their own way.

However, a person in the later stages is likely to experience severe memory loss, problems with communication and daily activities, and greater changes in behaviour and physical problems than in the earlier stages.

Some people may not want to know what to expect in the later stages and it is important to respect this. However, knowing what to expect can help the person and those supporting them to plan ahead for the treatment and care they may want.

This factsheet is for anyone supporting someone in the later stages. It includes information on symptoms in the later stages of dementia and the care and support available. It also includes advice on how to support the person and plan ahead for the later stages. For information on end of life care see factsheet 531, End of life care.