The later stages of dementia
Dementia is a progressive condition for which there is currently no cure, so it’s important to be prepared and to know what to expect at the final stages.
As dementia progresses, the person with dementia will gradually become more dependent on others for all their care. Most people in the later stages of dementia will need full nursing care and are often in a residential care facility, while some will continue to be cared for at home.
Knowing what to expect can help everyone – including the person with dementia – to prepare for what’s coming. Any stage of dementia, from diagnosis through to the later stages, has its special moments but also distressing times and this can be particularly challenging and stressful.
Remember that you are not alone – help is only a phone call away. Contact your local organisation here or call 0800 004 001.
Advance care planning and end of life care
Dementia is a progressive illness and receiving a diagnosis can be very distressing. Support is available to help people with dementia throughout their dementia journey, helping them to live as well as possible. And as dementia progresses good support from our health services, including palliative care when that is required, will continue to support health and wellbeing.
An Advance Care Plan (ACP) gives you the chance to set out what you want to happen in terms of your future care and treatment. You write your ACP to help your doctors and family know what you would want in certain situations, particularly if you can no longer make yourself understood.
Think about what you might like to happen, then talk it through with those looking after you.
Next, write down what you’ve decided and share it with your family/whānau and doctors. It may be appropriate to have these conversations sooner in order for yourself and those around you to have further peace of mind about the future.
You can find more information on the Advance Care Planning Co-operative
Booklet: The later stages of dementia A guide for people with dementia and their family/whānau
This booklet is designed to provide information about what to expect in the last stage of dementia. It highlights some issues that may be useful to consider, including what happens as the end of life nears and after death has occurred.