Stage 4: Late Stages

People with late-stage dementia typically turn increasingly inward and need assistance with most or all of their personal care. Persons with dementia in the late stages usually need 24-hour supervision to ensure personal safety, as well as to ensure that basic needs are being met. If left unsupervised, a person with late-stage dementia may wander and fall, may not recognize common dangers around them such as a hot stove, may not realize that they need to use the bathroom or become unable to control their bladder or bowels (incontinent).

Changes in eating frequently occur, and those with late-stage dementia often need pureed diets, thickened liquids, and assistance in eating. Their appetite may decline to the point that the person does not want to eat at all. He or she may not want to get out of bed, or may need complete assistance doing so. They may no longer recognize familiar people. He or she may have significant changes in sleeping habits or have trouble sleeping at all.