Why Do Dementia Patients Just Stare Into Spaces

Why Do Dementia Patients Just Stare Into Spaces?

Dementia patients have symptoms that leave caregivers with questions in mind. Dementia patient staring into space is one of those unique symptoms.

If you have someone living with dementia, maybe a spouse or relative, it is easier to support them and give them care when you understand their symptoms.

One might not know how it feels to have dementia, but understanding the symptoms dementia patients have increases empathy and helps caregivers do a better job.

In this article, we explain why dementia patients just stare into space in a way that any caregiver would understand. Read on to be more enlightened about this unique dementia symptom.

Why Do Dementia Patients Just Stare Into Space (Quick Answer)

Clinically, dementia patients have reduced gaze. This condition reduces their ability to move their eyes normally. When the eye movement speed is reduced, dementia patients look like they are staring.

Staring into space occurs early in the dementia patient. The condition also demonstrates itself when dementia patients skip lines when reading.

Dementia and Mental Lapses

Dementia patients have more mental lapses, where they stare into space more than those without dementia. The staring into space could occur when they can’t make sense of what is being said to them or when they are just seated alone.

When a Dementia Patient Sits And Stares

If you have noticed the staring habit when the dementia patient is seated alone, this could indicate that they are bored. Sometimes, staring into space does not mean that it is a health condition; it could simply be boredom or a longing to do something fun.

How to Help a Dementia Patient Who Stares Into Space

When one has dementia, the occurrence of deterioration is inevitable. However, this does not mean that they should be left to get worse with no efforts to improve their life more improved. When a dementia patient stares into space or exhibits worsening symptoms, here is how you can help them:

See a Physician

It is good to see a physician when you first notice the dementia patient staring into space. This helps confirm that it is dementia causing the behavior and not another serious condition. The physician also advises on how to improve the condition.

Keep a Pet Around

If the dementia patient loves pets around or once owned a pet, it could do them good to have one around. It does not have to be a cat or dog, you can have an aquarium to keep them occupied and avoid bored blank stares.

Try Music

Music has a way through the brain, even for dementia patients. Music also creates pleasure and alertness. If your loved one was musical before they had dementia, keep their passion alive by playing songs in the house or having instruments they used to play around.

Maintain their parental instinct.

Residents in nursing homes for dementia should not be forgotten. If you notice that during your last visit to the nursing home your loved one has been withdrawn and staring into space when seated, you can bring your kids along on some of the visits. If you do not have kids, bring dolls along if your loved one feels comfortable playing with them.

Arousing the parental instincts keeps the brain excited and boosts mood in dementia patients even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Be Understanding

If you are the caregiver of a dementia patient, work on your understanding and patience. When you notice a dementia patient doing something that annoys you, remember that it is involuntary and being harsh might hurt their feelings. If you need them to stop staring, talk to them calmly or keep them occupied with something else.


Dementia patients experience many symptoms during the period of the condition. Some of the symptoms are unique and might look intentional, but they are mostly involuntary. Staring into space is one of the things dementia patients experience without realizing it themselves. While staring into space is harmless, this should not stop caregivers from helping dementia patients improve their lives.


When Does Wandering Occur In Dementia?

Although it may vary depending on the dementia patient, wandering occurs in the middle stages of dementia. Dementia patients also have anxiety, hallucinations, depression, irritability, and perseveration in the middle stages of dementia.

How Can One Stop Dementia Patient From Wandering?

Consistent supervision is the best way to stop dementia patients from wandering. If it is not possible to keep an eye on a dementia patient all the time, ensure that they are occupied with activities. Also, do not leave car keys somewhere accessible as this could trigger them to wander.

What Do Dementia Patients Think About?

Having dementia does not strip a person of normal thoughts. Dementia patients think about their to-do list, things they need to accomplish, their emotions, their lives, and relationships.

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