See the humor in silly situations
Sometimes the situation turns into something absolutely hilarious. When that happens, you can’t help but laugh.
We explain why laughter is helpful in caregiving, why finding the humor in a situation isn’t mean or disrespectful, and share funny stories from dementia caregivers.
Laughter helps dementia caregivers cope
Humor is a great way to release stress and tension.
It also helps you cope with difficult emotions that come up when caring for someone with dementia.
Besides, don’t you always feel better after a good laugh?
You’re not laughing to be mean or disrespectful
Laughing at something funny your older adult says or does doesn’t make you a bad person.
You’re not laughing at them or being mean-spirited, you’re laughing at a silly situation. And don’t be surprised if they end up laughing even louder than you!
Plus, humor is great for relieving tension in awkward situations.
For example, making a lighthearted comment when you’re helping someone with a personal task can help them feel less self-conscious.
Hear funny dementia stories from fellow caregivers
Only people who have been caregivers can fully appreciate this kind of humor.
For a hearty therapeutic laugh, check out these articles with funny stories from Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers:
These 6 dementia stories made us laugh out loud
1. Hey sailor 😉
“While working at an adult day care center for dementia patients, I attended to a female 90+ years old woman who was barely coherent. At one point, I was looking at her, thinking, ‘Are you still in there?’ She looked back at me, smiled, and said, ‘You like what you see, sailor?’”
– from Happy Hospitalist, in comments
2. Major weight loss
“Yesterday, I came home from work and Mom came out to the kitchen to greet me. I said, ‘Mom, you have on my sweatpants!’ We each have a pair of the same soft, comfy green sweats, but hers are a size 14 and mine are a few sizes bigger. She said, ‘I thought I had lost a lot of weight!’ Then she pulled up her shirt to show me that she had pinned the pants to her bra to keep them up! We had a good laugh!”
– from AgingCare
3. Sham dirt!
“Mom was rifling around in her closet one day and I asked her what she was doing. Exasperated, she said ‘I’m trying to find my sham dirt!’ It took me a minute to figure out that she meant to say ‘damn shirt’. When she saw my puzzled look she started laughing.”
– from Easy Living
4. Who’s on First?
“My DH is a pastor and even though he struggles with AD, a small local parish likes to have him come and do ‘supply work’ a couple Sundays a month. The thing is, the parish is made up of about two dozen very elderly parishioners, many of whom have memory issues. It is a great fit because they introduce themselves to my husband every few weeks, he forgets who they are by the next time he is there, but it doesn’t matter because they have forgotten they introduced themselves! I stand there sometimes and feel like I am in the old ‘Whose on First’ comedy routine! It’s a match made in heaven :)”
– from The Alzheimer’s Spouse
5. Memory issues
“One day early in my wife’s battle with Alzheimer’s I made a statement about not remembering where I put something. She looked at me and asked if I needed one of her pills.”
– from Caregiver Stress
6. No kangaroos here!
“Little man sitting at bedside with towel folded square on top of head. When I asked why, he stated it was to keep the kangaroos away. I asked how it was working and he said he hadn’t seen one yet. We’re in Georgia. There’s no high population of kangaroos at our facility to begin with.”
– from Happy Hospitalist
Recommended for you:
- Find Humor in Caregiving to Ease Tension and Boost Mood
- How to Thrive as a Caregiver: 10 Things I Learned in Dementia Care
- Funny Things About Aging: Caregiver Humor in Cartoons
By DailyCaring Editorial Team