DEAR HARRIETTE: My father just suffered a stroke and is in a terrible state. He has started yelling and cursing at the doctors and nurses in the hospital. He has been incredibly rude and disrespectful in ways that are downright shocking to the family. He has said racist things to doctors from other countries. It’s awful. He never behaved like this before. My siblings and I went back and apologized to the people he offended, but we are beside ourselves. He isn’t listening. How can we get him to stop this ranting? -- Stroke Effect, Seattle
DEAR STROKE EFFECT: After reading a range of materials on the side effects of stroke, what I have learned is that emotional outbursts can happen in stroke victims, especially in the early days. Dementia can be exacerbated as well. For many patients, medical professionals suggest that over time there are improvements and some sense of normalcy may return. This depends, of course, on the severity of the stroke. For now, you and your siblings should continue to offer love and support to your father, making sure he knows that you are there for him and that he is not alone. If he continues to exhibit rude behavior toward others, you will have to continue to follow up and neutralize the situation until, God willing, he calms down. For more information on stroke and its side effects, go to: strokeconnection.strokeassociation.org/Summer-2017/Somethings-Different-Personality-Changes-After-Stroke/.