I have a question, my grandfather has dementia. I really like it to visit him a lot, but sometimes I really don't know what to do when he is acting angry. Are there any things I can do to make him calm again? Thanks fot responding.

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Hi! Thanks for writing in, this is a good question that a lot of people probably have.

The first thing is to figure out what is setting him off. What makes him angry? Is it something he hears or is it that another resident annoys him? Once you know what makes him mad, remove that stimulus.

It’s helpful to bring something in when you go to visit. Can you bring a pet dog or another animal to see him? What about a photo album or even something you baked? It will give you a conversation piece and probably put him in a good mood.

Finally, the best thing you can do when he gets mad is to smile. Be calm, remember that it isn’t directed at you, truly, and try to change the conversation. There are going to be times he gets upset, but it’s just a part of his disease process.

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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