Humor Can Help Caregivers

The Lighter Side of Caregiving: Appreciate the Humor

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My mother in law with dementia called us at 8:30 pm and asked us " do you have any cookies"? She was pretty upset that they wouldn't give her any. Although we knew they already had as the NH social worker has explained that she gets 2 helpings of dessert and always wants more ( she forgets she ate) . We live 90 miles away. Not like we could jump up and get her some.
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My mom has Parkinson's disease/Lewy Body Dementia and claims that my father (who has been dead for 27 years) sleeps with her every night. She even said he brought his 18-year-old girlfriend with him for a threesome! :-D She was very concerned that he was 'taking advantage' of this 18-year old, so I humored her and said that she was old enough to make her own decisions. Sometimes you just have to laugh!
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Recognizing the humor in situations as we go through life is important for mental and spiritual health. This article is a good reminder of that, as well as warning us against falling into a martyr role. Good advice. The other day, my mom (with vascular or Alzheimer's dementia) asked me to buy her a sweater because she is cold when she wears her short-sleeve shirts. I said, "Hmm . . . well, why don't you wear your long-sleeve shirts?" She replied, "Because I get too warm." I could have chosen frustration or humor. I laughed, and she started laughing. We had a good moment together instead of her feeling my frustration and me feeling guilty for making her feel bad.
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Recognizing the humor in situations as we go through life is important for mental and spiritual health. This article is a good reminder of that, as well as warning us against falling into a martyr role. Good advice. The other day, my mom (with vascular or Alzheimer's dementia) asked me to buy her a sweater because she is cold when she wears her short-sleeve shirts. I said, "Hmm . . . well, why don't you wear your long-sleeve shirts?" She replied, "Because I get too warm." I could have chosen frustration or humor. I laughed, and she started laughing. We had a good moment together instead of her feeling my frustration and me feeling guilty for making her feel bad.
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My mother has been the entertainment of many of the hospital visits we have had over the last few years. After one long stay and they had put the leg compresses on her legs to her the blood circulating well. They inflated and made her legs go out and she sat us in bed and said "ohhh..... I haven't felt that good that way in many years and my hooha hasn't been touched in just as many" with a great big smile on her face! She had an orgasm with them on and the nurses and I could not stop laughing. My mother was 86 at the time so it surprised me that she would say anything like that. And they keep on coming still.
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This article is a hoot! Thank you!
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This article is so good and so right. In my caregiving, I'd often try to get us to see things from the funny viewpoint of little kids. In really yucky times I'd go right for third grade humor. We still had to deal with the stuff but it at least helped. A modest example from my caregiver book:

ON SHARING BODILY FLUIDS

Verses:
Sometimes Susan’s bladder issues just tee tee me off.
She’ll wet her chair, the bed, herself, just ‘cause she has to cough,
Or sneeze or laugh or drink or think. We live in yellow mist,
I constantly am cleaning up and sometimes I get pissed.

Sometimes Susan’s bowel issues make my life seem crappy:
If it’s stuck or runny, funny, leaked into her nappy.
I’d like to forget it all; get fecal amnesia.
Never pour her nightcaps made of milk of magnesia.

Sometimes Susan’s nasal issues make me act all snotty.
I help her blow, stop bloody flow, make it all get clotty,
Open clogs, soothe with saline, make it feel all cozy.
So how’s her boogers doing now? I hate to be so nosey.

Chorus:
It’s not her fault, but all the strokes; she hates it just like me.
She hates that I must manage this, be anal as can be.
Good thing I had two kids with dirty butts and messy sickness
Who cured me of my old aversion to the world of ickness.
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PD ,
i drove past our nat guard armory last summer and some kind of open house family day was going on . in a side yard they had a big camo bouncey castle with " boot camp " printed across the front of it . i thought ; man they have REALLY relaxed the standards since i was in .
of course the castle was for kids but it didnt make me chuckle any less .
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I remember a time when my father had dementia before he past in 1999. He looked straight at my mother and asked where Betty way. My mother told him she was Betty. He looked up and said, "No, the other Betty." They had been married almost 53 years. If there was another Betty he kept her well hidden.
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Thought I would pop in something I read today on f/b:

I am over 57 and the Armed Forces thinks I'm too old to track down terrorists. You can't be older than 42 to join the military. They've got the whole thing backwards.
Instead of sending 18-year olds off to fight, they ought to take us old guys. You shouldn't be able to join a military unit until you're at least 35.
For starters, researchers say 18-year-olds think about sex every ten seconds. Old guys only think about sex a couple of times a month, leaving us more than 280,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy.
Young guys haven't lived long enough to be cranky, and a cranky soldier is a dangerous soldier. 'My back hurts! I can't sleep, I'm tired and hungry.' Were bad-tempered and impatient, and maybe letting us kill some ***hole that desperately deserves it will make us feel better and shut us up for a while.....
An 18-year-old doesn't even like to get up before 10am. Old guys always get up early to pee, so what the hell. Besides, like I said, I'm tired and can't sleep and since I'm already up, I may as well be up killing some fanatical SOB.
If captured we couldn't spill the beans because we'd forget where we put them. In fact, name, rank, and serial number would be a real brainteaser.
Boot camp would be easier for old guys.... We're used to getting screamed and yelled at and we're used to soft food. We've also developed an appreciation for guns. We've been using them for years as an excuse to get out of the house, away from the screaming and yelling.
They could lighten up on the obstacle course however..... I've been in combat and never saw a single 20-foot wall with rope hanging over the side, nor did I ever do any push-ups after completing basic training.
Actually, the running part is kind of a waste of energy, too..... I've never seen anyone outrun a bullet.
An 18-year-old has the whole world ahead of him. He's still learning to shave or to start a conversation with a pretty girl. He still hasn't figured out that a baseball cap has a brim to shade his eyes, not the back of his head.
These are all great reasons to keep our kids at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off into harm's way.
Let us old guys track down those terrorists..... The last thing an enemy would want to see is a couple million hacked off old farts with bad attitudes and automatic weapons, who know that their best years are already behind them.
HEY!! How about recruiting Women over 50.... in menopause! You think MEN have attitudes? Ohhhhhhhh my goodness!!! If nothing else, put them on border patrol. They'll have it secured the first night!
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