First about safety and the law: If a person with dementia is making threats, action can and should be taken if he or she presents a danger to him or herself or others. People suffering from dementia often have personality changes related to the changes occurring in their brains. This can result in their acting inappropriately or saying hurtful things. It is vital that your loved one has a doctor closely monitoring his or her health. It would also be helpful if there were someone nearby this person who could monitor the situation. Lastly, about the caregiving journey: One of the best things you can do is to remain calm and redirect this person when he or she is hurtful. Do not engage in debate. This is not always easy, especially when someone we want to love is menacing and nasty. A useful book is A Dignified Life By Virginia Bell and David Troxel. They have wonderful, easy to implement ideas for dealing with challenging behavior. You may also want to call Alzheimer’s Association in your area to explore support groups and resources. One of the great benefits of attending a support group is you will hear the strategies other people are using to minimize distress and maximize quality of life for both the person with dementia and the whole family.