Look at the Bright Side: Humor in Caregiving

Caregiving is a task that for most of us comes unexpected and suddenly. In the dark times of uncertainty that are upon us there is one strategy that never fails and it is to look at the bright side of things and find humor in caregiving. A famous quote from Les Miserables says, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise”.

You will surely find humorous anecdotes in the daily tasks of caregiving and it is okay to laugh. You are not disrespecting your care receiver by giggling a little bit when something funny happens, in fact they might find it funny too and laugh along. Laughter might be even necessary to get a caregiver through a difficult situation and give that extra boost they need sometimes to simply not give up and go on providing care for their loved one.

The large level of stress and physical wear endured during the caregiving period are the constant challenges faced by those involved. In those moments of tension is when the elder person must feel relaxed and at ease. This is where humor in caregiving can be a tension relieving exercise for both.

Humor is not only a good technique for any caregiving moments, it actually is recommended by medical experts as a results from various studies throughout time.  The endorphins, commonly known to provide a sensation of feeling food, are released every time you laugh and can be of great assistance to relax and relieve pain. Other medical facts say that laughter imitates the effects of exercise in your heart rate and blood flow and that it can also heighten the level of antibodies that are in charge of fighting infections and also enforces the immune system by increasing the amount of immune cells.

As Cindy Laverty, an experienced caregiver and life coach,  wisely puts it, “caregiving is our final walk with our loved one. What do you want your journey to look like?”. It may not exactly be our final walk with our loved one for some of us but a journey through rough times in the end. Why not make them the best they can be and look back at them without regrets as we use the humor in caregiving to make things look brighter?

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