Published On: Tue, Dec 17th, 2019

Why Humor is Important for Seniors

Being a caregiver is a difficult job and it’s hard to find humor during tough times of helping your loved one. Finding the time to smile and laugh is more important than you think. It’s important to lighten up sometimes to avoid caregiver burnout and stress. According to Bunny Dachs of Bunny’s Home Care Baltimore “Laughing is great for ones health! It boosts oxygen levels by expanding the lungs and stimulates ones heart.”  Learn how your sense of humor can help with caring for seniors today!

photo courtesy of Greenberg Health

1. Humor Can Preserve Your Mental and Physical Health

Susan Hamburger, a member of the board of directors at the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital states that “humor is a coping mechanism that is important not simply as a diversion, but rather an essential requirement for preserving our mental and physical health.”

She also says that “humor in almost any form can spontaneously relieve fear, anxiety, anger and depression.”

It’s important to find things to laugh at and see your situation in a refreshing way as a caregiver. Here are some things the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital says to keep in mind:

  • Anger gets you into trouble because it makes your mouth move faster than your brain
  • Will anything bad happen right now if you do something silly?
  • Every time you give someone a piece of your mind, you make your head a little emptier.
  • You are generally measured by the size of the things that make you mad.
  • Have you ever noticed that firemen never fight fire with fire?
  • Anger is a wind that blows out the lamp of your mind.
  • Angry caregivers are seldom reasonable; reasonable caregivers get angry, but they know how to control their feelings.

Another study shows that laughter can also “reduce pain, improve blood vessel function, release chemicals that relax muscles and produce feelings of pleasure, and stimulate the body’s immune system”.

Did you know that 82% of the cancer patients that were studied used humor as a way to cope with their current situation?

2. Humor Can Make Caring for Seniors Fun

Sacha Goldberger turned his 93 year old grandmother into a superhero in his Super Mamika photography project. He turned to his life passion for photography and his good sense of humor to do something memorable with his loved one.

Frederika Goldberger, his grandmother, is shown here: Super Mamika .

She said that “here, with my grandson, I have the feeling I am doing something.”

Sacha admitted to having anxiety over losing his grandmother, but felt reassured after completing his project.

He said that “making these pictures to me is the best thing that could happen because now my grandma is immortal and it seems everyone knows her.”

In order to make the caregiver process a lot easier, it’s best to have fun with it when you can and laugh with your loved one or client.

3. Humor Can Make You Feel Better

While some may consider your ability to laugh and take a more light hearted approach to senior care insensitive, humor helps relieve tension in a serious situation.

Humor can make you into a healthier person. AARP says that many professionals are held up by the Three I’s:

  • We lose our independence.
  • We lose our identity.
  • We become isolated.

When we meet all of the criteria for the Three I’s, this leads to caregiver stress. Stressing out about your responsibilities as a caregiver can lead to health problems for you and potentially impact your abilities as a caregiver.

Author: Kamlesh Kumar

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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