30th Mar 2023
It can be extremely difficult to see your loved one suffering with late-stage dementia. Coming to terms with their eventual passing can be hard to process. However, recognizing the signs of approaching death for dementia sufferers can help you cope with what is to come.
Dementia is a syndrome referring to a progressive decline of brain function. It adversely affects thinking, memory and behavior and can disrupt a sufferer’s personal and professional life. 
It is common for your memory to be affected by everyday stress and fatigue, but if you see a pattern of forgetfulness in yourself or a loved one, it is advised to seek a medical diagnosis as soon as possible. 
Many people enjoy active and rewarding lives for many years after being diagnosed with dementia, and the medical guidance and help received can be essential to them doing so. 
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of conditions adversely affecting the brain. The 4 most common forms of dementia and some of their symptoms are detailed below. 
A person with dementia will typically decline as time goes by. The rate at which this happens depends on the person, the type of dementia, and medical intervention.
As the disease develops, a person can struggle with greater memory loss and problems with self-regulation.  Their judgement, their ability to convey and understand information, and their movement all deteriorate, until finally, a person with severe dementia is no longer able to care for themselves.
Here are 10 signs death is near in dementia: 
In the final stages of dementia, a person experiences an intense decline in quality of life. This experience depends on both the individual and the form of dementia they suffer from.
Below is a list describing how the final stages can look in the 4 most common types of dementia:
Dementia isn’t solely responsible for death, rather it causes complications that lead to death. A person in the final stages of dementia has a higher risk of contracting potentially fatal diseases.
Aspiration pneumonia, coronary heart disease, and gastrointestinal disease are among the conditions people with advanced dementia are more prone to contracting.  
A lack of inclination to eat or drink combined with an inability to swallow leads to malnutrition and dehydration, another leading cause of death in dementia patients. .
A lack of mobility and gait problems may also increase the risk of blood clots forming in the lungs.
Coping with a loved one’s struggle with dementia can feel disheartening. Whilst there is no cure, you can take steps to provide them with comfort and care.
Advanced care planning is recommended in early stages after diagnosis.  Having plans in place make the end-of-life process easier and can ease the emotional burden on the family.
For example, during a 2019 study into end-of-life care, a child of someone with dementia claimed that his parents getting their medical documentation in place was extremely beneficial when it came to the final stages of their lives. 
Making advanced directives such as living wills, power of attorney and other health care instructions could prove helpful down the line.
There are numerous medical options, such as palliative or hospice care, that can be effective in providing comfort for someone with dementia and helping them connect with their family. 
Hospice care experts can also provide succor to caregivers for dementia patients towards the end of their loved one’s life, as they cope with an overwhelming number of different emotions. .