Humor in the Media
The media has picked up on the fact that caregiving can be funny. For example, Fox Television’s hit TV sitcom Raising Hope stars Cloris Leachman as Maw Maw, the great-grandmother, once the rock of the family who now vacillates between moments of lucidity and dementia. In her mind, the house is infested with mongooses, she’s cheating on her dead husband and it just might be World War II.
It’s not just made-for-TV moments that have grabbed the media spotlight. In a real-life example, Justin Halpern moved in with his 73-year-old father after hitting hard financial times. He soon discovered that with old age, his father had lost all inhibitions, and said whatever was on his mind. Halpern, who describes his dad as “like Socrates, but angrier and with worse hair” began writing down his father’s rants and posting them to a Twitter account. Now, more than a million people follow Halpern’s philosophical musings on Twitter. As a result, Halpern was offered a book deal. In less than three months, the aptly named Sh*t My Dad Says made it to the New York Times Bestseller List.
Humor is a Necessity
Laverty urges all caregivers to give up the role of the martyr. “If you listen to the news then you know that caregivers are supposed to feel overwhelmed and exhausted and without hope,” she says. “When that mentality takes over, it’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t fall into victimization! I urge you to avoid adopting this mentality. It’s a horrible place to be and the longer you stay there, the more difficult it becomes to get out!”
Caregiving is hard Ė we’re not dismissing the gravity and hardship of the situation. But, during the tough times, it can be too easy to forget the importance of humor. Etch the funny memories in your spirit, and hold them in your heart. When you’re loved one is gone, you’ll be glad you did.
Read real-life upbeat, funny stories and words of inspiration here at AgingCare.com’s Breath of Fresh Air Ė a lighter side of caregiving.
The Lighter Side of Caregiving: Appreciate the Humor originally appeared on AgingCare.com.