What Are the Final Stages of Dementia?

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Severe or late-stage dementia, sometimes known as stage seven dementia, is marked by very severe cognitive decline, notes the Alzheimer’s Association. Patients with stage seven dementia usually cannot bathe or dress themselves. They may also be unable to walk, carry on a conversation or smile.

Although late-stage dementia patients are unable to communicate normally, they can still benefit from listening to their favorite music, sitting outside or eating a favorite food. At this stage, most of their enjoyment comes from sense-based activities, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

In all, there are seven stages of dementia, reports the Alzheimer’s Association. In the first stage, patients usually have little cognitive impairment. During the second stage, slight memory loss begins to occur, although this impairment remains invisible on medical tests. In third-stage dementia, memory loss increases and the cognitive decline becomes noticeable to doctors and other people. Memory loss continues to increase in fourth-stage dementia and is severe enough to interfere with daily routines.

Stage five dementia is marked by a patient’s inability to remember the personal details necessary to maintain everyday life without help. A stage six dementia patient usually has severe cognitive decline and needs help dressing, eating and using the toilet. These patients often become lost and experience personality changes, explains the Alzheimer’s Association.