How to Calm a Dementia Patient

Posted on September 29th, 2023 to Dementia by

Changes in how the brain functions with dementia can lead to difficulty processing emotions. Therefore, simple triggers can lead to anxiety, agitation, restlessness, and even aggression.

These occurrences can be more frequent and outbursts can be more severe as the condition progresses. Learning how to calm a dementia patient can be exceptionally valuable for caregivers.


How to Calm Down a Dementia Patient

In many cases, agitation with dementia will have a trigger or cause. One of the most important things caregivers can do when learning how to calm agitated dementia patients is to try to track down the causes first. If you can find and control the cause, undesirable reactions may be avoided or at least better controlled.

Common triggers include simple things like lack of sleep, stress, digestive issues, or even being pushed to do something (e.g. bathing, going out, eating). Commotion, noise, or too much environmental stimulation can also drive agitation.

If a dementia patient is already upset:

  • Reassure them calmly and offer your understanding
  • Allow the individual some level of control (e.g. if they’re refusing to wear certain clothing, let them choose)
  • Reduce noise, sensual stimuli, and even visitors or people in the room
  • Gently soothe the individual with comforting touch, reading, or even going for a brief walk with them
  • Distract the individual with a meaningful object, a snack, or something they usually enjoy

What Drugs Are Used to Calm a Dementia Patient?

Doctors sometimes prescribe medications to help calm agitation in patients with dementia, including benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Unfortunately, many of these drugs have “black box warnings” with serious side effects and can increase the risk of illness and death in older individuals.

Some drugs may calm symptoms of agitation indirectly as well. For example, medications to help with pain or digestive issues may help to keep the patient from becoming agitated.

Some natural agents may also be helpful for calming a dementia patient. For example, the cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) may also be helpful for soothing an agitated dementia patient. Preliminary evaluations have found CBD effective for older individuals that experience dementia or Alzheimer’s-driven agitation. Likewise, melatonin has been shown to support individuals with Alzheimer’s who have trouble sleeping.

A Final Word from Healer

Caring for a dementia patient can pose many challenges, and periods of agitation can be especially difficult. If you are looking for a natural option that may help, a product like Healer Respite Gummies may be something to consider.


The information in this post/article is provided for educational purposes and is not a substitute for or alternative to information from your healthcare providers. Statements and claims on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.