It’s no secret, the role of care-giver is tough. It’s frustrating, maddening and down-right disgusting sometimes. So how do I get through the days? I have a few tools in my arsenal (in no particular order): support group, blogging, prayer, tears, a good stiff drink (sometimes and don’t judge) and…laughter!
Even though much of my mom’s personality is gone, her sense of humor is still very much in tact. Often, when she’s taking her pills, she’ll ask, “What are these for?” When we tell her one is for her memory, a common response from her is to grin and say “Oh, I forgot.”
There are many times we’ve been able to diffuse a tense situation by cracking a joke.
And there are even more times when finding the humor helps the rest of us deal with it all. Sometimes the situations are just funny and it’s ok to find the humor in them and laugh.
I remember a night about a year ago when we were all watching TV and my mom was holding Sissy, her cat, and petting her. Every couple minutes she would say, “She’s a pretty kitty. She’s a calico kitty.”
Every time she said it the words were exactly the same and so was the sing-songy way she said it. After she’s said it at least half a dozen times, my oldest son (14 at the time) said, “We should turn this into a drinking game. Every time she says it, we should all take a drink of coke.”
This absolutely cracked us all up! Now, I’ll admit, as his mother, I’m still a little perplexed as to how he even knew what a drinking game was at 14 because I assure you he had never seen one or participated in one. Yes, I’m sure. But, I digress.
Sure enough, she said it again. We all raised our glasses and said, “Cheers!”
Now, when she gets focused on something and starts to drive us nuts, all one of us has to do is say, “Cheers!” and everyone relaxes.
The best part is, I know my mom would approve. She’s always been one of the funniest people I know. I’ll never forget during the visitation at my dad’s funeral seeing my mom and two of her closest friends, standing near the casket doubled over in laughter. No one remembers what they were laughing at, but boy, it must have been good! And, better yet, it was good for her!
If you’re a caregiver and you’re afraid to laugh because it seems disrespectful, I encourage you to read some of these articles and not just take my word for it.
- The Lighter Side of Caregiving: Appreciate the Humor
- Family Ties: Humor can help caregivers laugh off the stress
- Humor? Laughter? At a time like this?
I’ll leave you with one last thought, from one of my favorite authors:
“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”–Dr. Suess
Share with me! I’d love to hear your funny caregiving stories!