Humor as therapy for Caregivers

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In the post  Humor Shared Among Caregivers is Therapeutic, humor is introduced as a form of therapy for caregivers under stress:

“We laugh so we won’t cry
We caregivers must cope with difficult decisions. We’re continually coping with the knowledge that our loved one has a devastating, and in the case of dementia, irreversible disease. The stress from providing care day in and day out can be enormous.
Though we may be emotionally shredded by the changes in our loved ones’ physical and often mental health, we soldier on daily trying to help them maintain some quality in their lives. This can drain us of energy and devour our time to where we have little left to give to our friends, so those who don’t understand the challenges caregivers face often drift away.
Other caregivers understand our stress and our attempts at humor. While a non-caregiver may think my friend and I were laughing at her mom, a caregiver instinctively knows why we are laughing and the love and pain behind our laughter.
During the years that several of my loved ones lived in a nearby nursing home, often I’d find myself walking out the door with others who had family members living in the facility. We’d frequently ask one another how we were doing and how our loved ones were feeling.
Occasionally, our brief chats were accompanied by sorrow and perhaps a good cry, but nearly always there was laughter, as well. The laughter was wry and tinged with pain, yet cathartic. It was aimed at an ugly disease or illness that was slowly destroying a loved one. The only alternate relief for us would seemingly be tears, and most of us had shed buckets of tears already. Empathetic laughter was what we had left.
Some people may find it strange that we didn’t want sympathy. What we wanted and needed was empathy – that shared fellowship from people who know what we are feeling without our having to explain it. Empathy was often expressed by a hug or a smile, but just as often it was expressed by a story that was humorous only to those of us who’d been humbled by the unique demands of caregiving.”

Joke Of The Day For Dementia Patient Caregivers

“Where are you going?” the wife asked of her senile husband. “Going to cut the grass,” as he headed to the garage. She ran to the window when she heard the car starting and peering out, saw him driving across the front lawn, down the side, and to the back yard, back and forth, up and down. Finally, he parked the car, went in the house and triumphantly said, “Wow! That power mower is the best.”

Joke quoted from
Photo courtesy of

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