Purpose of Review
Dementia is a progressive and life-limiting condition that can be described in three stages: early, middle, and late. This article reviews current literature on late-stage dementia.
Survival times may vary across dementia subtypes. Yet, the overall trajectory is characterized by progressive decline until death. Ideally, as people with dementia approach the end of life, care should focus on comfort, dignity, and quality of life. However, barriers prevent optimal end-of-life care in the final stages of dementia.
Improved and earlier advanced care planning for persons with dementia and their caregivers can help delineate goals of care and prepare for the inevitable complications of end-stage dementia. This allows for timely access to palliative and hospice care, which ultimately improves dementia end-of-life care.
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Advanced care planning
Advanced Dementia Prognostic Tool
Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia
Choices, Attitudes, and Strategies for Care of Advanced Dementia at the End-of-Life
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Describe, Investigate, Create, and Evaluate
End of life
Functional Assessment Staging Tool
Intensive care unit
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Study of Pathogen Resistance and Exposure to Antimicrobials in Dementia
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The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Geriatric Disorders
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Bartley, M.M., Suarez, L., Shafi, R.M.A. et al. Dementia Care at End of Life: Current Approaches. Curr Psychiatry Rep 20, 50 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-018-0915-x
- Advanced care planning
- Late-stage dementia
- Palliative care