4 Humour Hacks to Make Laughter Part of Your Daily Caregiving Routine

Photo by Ekaterina Shakharova on Unsplash

Turning a frown upside down isn’t always easy, especially when you are affected by, or care for a loved one with dementia. Getting the person to crack a smile can be difficult, let alone finding something or anything- that will bring both of you the chance to laugh together and have ‘fun’.

To help, keep reading for 4 golden tips to get you off the high-stress express and make laughter part of your daily caregiving routine.

1. Jokes

An important factor to consider is actually the type of dementia affecting your loved one. A study has found that slapstick comedy is generally a “safe” bet, while satire or absurdist comedy styles may not be well received.

Believe it or not, elder care comedy services also exist and offer a novel way of increasing social interaction and boosting your loved one’s mood.

Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash

2. Sensation and Exercise

To emphasize the importance of physical exercise, caregivers must learn to expand their routine of walking, jogging, or chair exercises to include ‘funner’ alternatives like:

  • Dancing together
  • Trying out a ‘laugher yoga’ class
  • Using fun tools like hoola hoops or soft balls
Photo by Yulissa Tagle on Unsplash

3. Make the most out of the Media

To help you, take advantage of the different forms of media! Social media apps offering creative filters and games might be a fun pastime. Those “try not to laugh” YouTube videos might also do the trick and perhaps a comedy show on Netflix will fare better than watching the daily news. Your loved one may even have a favourite sitcom or game show they know and love, which you can use to improve their mood.

4. Consistency

It is not enough to experience levity and laughter with your loved one. You must actively attempt to incorporate it into your daily routine. As dementia progresses, your loved one’s humour may change and while they may not communicate as used to, their sense of humour is still there and you can use these tips to help harness it.

Photo by Jana Sabeth on Unsplash

As a caregiver, humour and laughter can get you through some pretty tough times. While levity may not solve your problems, it definitely helps dissolve much of the negativity they bring. The tips outlined can help your loved ones forget about their impaired cognitive ability and make both of you happier.

With so many advancements in medical research, people affected by dementia are living longer lives. Thus, finding humour early in the diagnosis is an important part of a care plan. After all, laughter is the best medicine, so we should never forget to have our daily dose.

In the comments section below, share with us how you incorporate laughter into your daily routine. If you or someone you know is a caregiver and you are looking to add new tools to improve your caregiving experience, Memoryz can help-Check our website for more information.

References:

Harris ML, Titler MG, Struble LM. Acupuncture and Acupressure for Dementia Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms: A Scoping Review. West J Nurs Res. 2020 Oct;42(10):867–880. doi: 10.1177/0193945919890552. Epub 2019 Dec 5. PMID: 31802723; PMCID: PMC7272277.

Clark CN, Nicholas JM, Gordon E, Golden HL, Cohen MH, Woodward FJ, Macpherson K, Slattery CF, Mummery CJ, Schott JM, Rohrer JD, Warren JD. Altered sense of humor in dementia. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;49(1):111–9. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150413. PMID: 26444779; PMCID: PMC4820649.

University of Leeds. “‘Tickle’ therapy could help slow aging, research suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190730083706.htm>.

Bains GS, Berk LS, Daher N, Lohman E, Schwab E, Petrofsky J, Deshpande P. The effect of humor on short-term memory in older adults: a new component for whole-person wellness. Adv Mind Body Med. 2014 Spring;28(2):16–24. PMID: 24682001.

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