What happens to someone with dementia?

When a person has dementia, they change over time. These changes are nobody's fault, and the person can't stop them from happening. They happen because the person's brain is not working like it used to.

Nobody can say for sure what the changes will be, because everyone who has dementia is different. Below you can see stories from different children who know somebody with dementia. Not everyone gets the same problems, and they don’t all happen at once. Some people may experience these changes after many months or years, or not at all.


She lost her speech, she couldn’t talk to any of us anymore, it was like we could see her trying to say it but she couldn’t get her words out.


She is always disoriented and confused. She moves lots of objects to random places and sometimes she finds ways to leave the house by herself and manages to go very far.


I don’t remember how she was when she was first diagnosed but at the end she was just laid in a bed in a care home, not being able to do anything for herself. She couldn’t eat, and she was just so sleepy. It broke my heart.


He would go through all of the kitchen drawers looking for something and emptying the contents of them on to the counter and my Granny would go around and help him look for whatever he was looking for (which neither of them knew) just so she didn't make him feel uncomfortable.


She doesn't remember anyone apart from my granddad and she calls him dad.


He always forgets me and family members.


We have a 6-course meal every night. He can't tell whether he's hungry or not and doesn't remember if he's already eaten.


She always asks the same questions over and over again.


We were worried about her getting lost.


He always buys things at the shops twice.


He can't remember anything.


He gets cross easily. We have to do what he wants.


He drinks and then forgets he has already had some, so drinks more.


He forgets what he's looking for and then gets cross with us.


This information was updated in November 2019 and is due for review in November 2021. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.