In this episode of This is Getting Old podcast, listen if you are coping with handling an older person or loved one going through repetitive verbalizations and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Let me tell you a story of two residents that I used to take care of a long time ago — Walter and Miss Lucy and how we managed their behaviors …

Every day, about three o’clock in the afternoon, Walter would begin to yell, “I’m a bad man!” And he would do that all the time. And the irony is, Walter used to be a pastor when he was younger. But as soon as that happened, instead of giving him some medication to manage his behavior, we knew we just needed to take him out to have a cigarette.

When Miss Lucy would start calling the hogs in her wheelchair shouting “Sooie! Soooie!” in the afternoons, we knew that it’s time that she needed some snuff or smokeless tobacco. We would give her some snuff, and she would take off down the hall.


Key Takeaways:

  • If a patient with advanced Alzheimer’s is a lifelong smoker, we can no longer change that behavior as carers. While smoking isn’t ideal, one way to manage that behavior in a non-pharmacological way is to give them what they needed at that time, which was nicotine.
  • The same thing could happen with someone that you’re caring for. Think about their habits before, and it could be they need caffeine, going for a walk to get some exercise in.



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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
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