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Benefits of Finding Humor While Caregiving

Thursday, June 15, 2023

How many times a day do you find yourself laughing? Many of us get the opportunity to laugh and de-stress throughout the day, but if you’re a caregiver for someone with dementia, you may find it hard to discover the humor in everyday life. In fact, you might not remember the last time you or your loved one laughed together.

Although caring for someone with memory loss can be a long and challenging journey, it’s important to find the benefits of humor and laughter where you can.

What are the benefits of laughter and humor?

Benefits of Humor for Caregivers

Often, laughter is the best medicine for caregivers. Not only is humor a great coping skill, but humor prevents caregiver burnout. Those who take advantage of humor also experience:

  • Reduced stress
  • Increased ability to manage change
  • Resilience during trials
  • Enhanced relationships
  • Improved physical and emotional health
  • Relief from tension
  • Improved attitude
  • Increased ability to cope with difficult emotions
  • A boost in immune system
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Happier days with their loved one

Benefits of Humor for Those With Memory Loss

Not only does humor reduce negative emotions for caregivers, but it’s also helpful for those with dementia. Loved ones who have dementia can gain benefits from humor like:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Enhanced social interaction
  • Redirected negative emotions
  • Reduced mental health problems, like anxiety and depression
  • A greater sense of dignity
  • Decreased stress hormones and improved memory (for a short time)
  • A stronger bond with their caregiver

How To Find Humor When Caregiving

A good sense of humor can make a difference for caregivers and loved ones with memory loss. Try these techniques to practice humor in your daily routine while having more fun with your loved one.

1. Try therapeutic humor.

Watch or listen to something funny for the simple sake of enjoying humor. Focus on shows or movies that are special to your loved one. Spend time watching funny videos on YouTube or watching “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

2. Recognize and appreciate funny moments.

If you’ve been caregiving for a while, you know that both you and your loved one can do funny things. As you’re laughing with each other, and not at each other, take a breath and enjoy the moment.

3. Know and understand your loved one.

Understanding your loved one’s form of dementia will help you understand the funny or strange comments or actions your loved one may make as the disease progresses. It’s okay to recognize and embrace the humorous side of these moments.

4. Recognize that the person you love is still there.

If your mom or dad were funny when they were younger, that humor will continue to spill out into this journey. Your loved one may make jokes or do something funny to make themselves (or you) laugh. These moments are priceless.

5. Find support groups.

It can feel good to share the humorous stories that can happen in the daily grind of being a caregiver to a loved one with memory loss. That’s one of the many reasons support groups are beneficial. By surrounding yourself with other caregivers facing similar experiences, you’ll be able to share your funny experiences and laugh with others who understand. You may even learn tips on how to find humor in certain situations that may happen in the future.

We’re Here To Help

For more information about how finding humor in caregiving can help prevent burnout, or to learn more about our Bridges® by EPOCH communities, visit our website.

Enhancing Quality of Life

Bridges® by EPOCH memory care communities have been developed from the ground up to anticipate, meet and exceed the needs of our residents and their families. Our team of remarkable people, the exceptional care and services we offer, and the purposeful design of our buildings all combine to create the most rewarding, secure and nurturing lifestyle possible for our residents.

Bridges® by EPOCH communities are located in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in the following towns: Norwalk, CT; Stamford, CT; Trumbull, CT; Andover, MA; Hingham, MA; Lexington, MA; Mashpee, MA; Pembroke, MA; Sudbury, MA; Westford, MA; Westwood, MA; and Nashua, NH.

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