START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Itís Okay to Laugh: Appreciate the Humor in Caregiving

  • 2 of 3

Moments of Humor

When Laverty was caring for her father-in-law, who had open heart surgery and a stroke, one of his favorite activities was golfing. Of course, he could no longer hit the greens, so the Laverty’s set up a chipping station for him in the backyard. “He couldn’t balance well, due to the stroke. When he swung the golf club, I had to squat down and hold his belt, so he wouldn’t fall. One time, he did fallÖon top of me. We ended up in a very compromising position. His response was, ĎWe have to stop meeting like this.’ We both just cracked up. It lightened up the moment, and turned an awkward situation into a hilarious one.”

Laverty’s mother-in-law also provided some comic relief during her bout with Alzheimer’s disease. She was missing her four front teeth Ė each one lost when she bit various home health workers. “If someone bent over, or got too close, she would bite them,” Laverty says. “Needless to say, that is a dangerous and unwanted behavior. But no matter what we tried, we couldn’t get her to stop. Getting a caregiver to stick around wasn’t easy. But you can’t deny itÖthe situation was funny.”

Lessons for Caregivers

Laverty also found ways to lighten up stressful moments. Like bath time. Her mother-in-law refused to bathe, because the Alzheimer’s made her afraid of the water. One evening, Laverty ran a warm bath, put Mr. Bubble in it, lit some candles, played a Dean Martin CD and poured a glass of non-alcoholic champagne (her mother-in-law’s favorite drink back in the day) “She got right in the bathtub. But then we couldn’t get her out,” Laverty laughs.

Simple Joys Make Life Worth Living

Laverty reminds us that “caregiving is our final walk with our loved one. What do you want that journey to look like? Do you want it be miserable and laden with despair? Or do you want it to be a special time in which special memories are made? At the end of the day, as mad as I got at my in-laws when I was caregiving, I’d give anything if I could just hold their hand one more time.”

Related:
Gratitude Gives You Wings: 6 Tricks For Rising Above Negativity
Finding and Maintaining Your Personal Space While Caregiving
Your Life: Pleasantly Purposeful, Or Dull Drudgery? You Decide

The Lighter Side of Caregiving: Appreciate the Humor originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

  • 2 of 3

Read more: Aging, Caregiving, Family, General Health, Healthy Aging, Mental Wellness, , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

AgingCare.com

AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

42 comments

+ add your own
4:25AM PST on Feb 11, 2012

When my Mom got Alzheimer's, her whole personality changed. She was doing and saying things that she would never have done or said before. If I laughed at her, she would laugh right along with me some days. If she was afraid or scared of something I would laugh and tell her it was OK and then, she didn't look so afraid any more.

3:30PM PST on Feb 5, 2012

Thanks for this!

8:51AM PST on Jan 30, 2012

interesting. thanks for the article.

11:11AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

thanks for sharing this

8:16AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Quote of the Day:
A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.
- William Arthur Ward

2:46AM PST on Jan 28, 2012

God bless you and thank you! :)

4:52PM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Thanks.

3:00PM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Really? Why are we even being given the thought that laughing is BAD!? If you are a kind and loving person let your heart be your guild.

6:23AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Being able to laugh together...as much as cry together...is exactly what got our family through times like this.

5:51AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

Thanks.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

For those saying, 'but it takes more tiiime' to prepare my own food. Yep. It does. Which is why…

Will definitely try this recipe thank you

I live no where near the Ocean. I a in the mountains. My husband does the pool. He worked in water d…

zgadzam się i nigdy tego nie stosuję

Has anyone try number 5?

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.