November is National Caregivers Month

senior couple sitting together on patio laughing

By Carol Combs, MSW, Oxford’s Memory Care Program Coordinator

We’ve all heard the expression “laughter is the best medicine”, but sometimes it is very difficult to find the humor in a stressful, caregiving situation.

There are many positive effects gained from laughter.

  • Laughter releases tension
  • Laughter improves breathing
  • Laughter strengthens your immune system
  • Laughter releases endorphins
  • Laughter boosts energy
  • Laughter reduces pain
  • Laughter elevates mood

Finding the humor in the smallest thing can help you through difficult or stressful times.

Have you laughed with your loved one today?

  • Try reading funny books
  • Watch comedy movies, TV shows or posts on YouTube
  • Read the comics
  • Act silly
  • Play with a child
  • Tell a joke

Life can be frustrating, but try to look for something positive. Try to smile and laugh, even if it feels forced. The body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. You get the same physiological and psychological benefits.

Caregivers have shared anecdotes as examples of finding humor in caregiving:

Our cat has been acting weird and we didn’t know why until yesterday, when we caught Mom putting coffee in his food dish!

One evening while my parents were watching TV, Dad looked at Mom and said, “Are you ever going home, you’ve been here all day?”

Grandma’s community had a hat party. She didn’t have a hat so she wore a pair of panties on her head. You’re never too old to have fun!

When Mom passed away, I had the unenviable task of choosing her casket. I had to find a way to release the tension; so, I asked the funeral director if they had any caskets on clearance because my mom never bought anything full price. I’m sure Mom smiled at that!

Laughter is a priceless medicine that is free, fun and easy to use! Laughter works—no joke!

November is National Caregivers Month, and we want to acknowledge all caregivers who selflessly give so much to care for someone else.

Source: AgingCare.com