Advancing age is associated with an increased risk of illness. Investigating the influence of ageing on the experience of pain must take account of this association, as well as the impact of past experience of life. Dementia, which is almost exclusively restricted to older people, is an illness where the effects of past experience and future life anticipation are severely curtailed. The influence of dementia on the experience of pain has received little attention and many questions remain unanswered. This review draws upon this literature to describe current knowledge of the area. Suggestions for further research are made.