A Caregiver's Journal provides information, insight, enlightenment and shared experiences for new caregivers and encouragement for long time caregivers. The focus of this blog is our transition from empty nesters to caregivers for my god-sister, Gladys, a stroke survivor. RSS Subscribe to RSS

Caregivers Need More Laughter

Caregivers need to laugh. Last week was pretty stressful and busy, but I found some very humorous moments thanks to current events.  I had a good laugh from the Etta James outburst about Beyonce Knowles. Then there was Andrew Card who forgot he is not the White House Chief of Staff anymore, chastising the new President and staff about their relaxed dress code.  The country is falling apart and he’s concerned about White House attire.  Go figure.

Sometimes you have to find a way to relieve stress.  My way is to laugh at some everyday event or watch a mindless movie.  Rambo is a great mindless movie and it is funny to me.  You don’t have to think, there’s not much dialog and you know that Rambo will be the last man standing.  You can leave the room for 30 minutes and not miss anything important.

Elizabeth Scott wrote and article, The Stress Management and Health Benefits of Laughter.  Here are some of the things she wrote about laughter and stress:

How To Use Laughter:

Laughter is one of my all-time favorite stress management strategies because it’s free, convenient, and beneficial in so many ways. You can get more laughter in your life with the following strategies:

  • T.V. and Movies: There’s no shortage of laughter opportunities from the entertainment, both at the theater and in the aisles of the video stores, as well as at home with T.V. comedies. While wasting your time watching something marginally funny may actually frustrate you, watching truly hilarious movies and shows is an easy way to get laughter into your life whenever you need it.
  • Laugh With Friends: Going to a movie or comedy club with friends is a great way to get more laughter in your life. The contagious effects of laughter may mean you’ll laugh more than you otherwise would have during the show, plus you’ll have jokes to reference at later times. Having friends over for a party or game night is also a great setup for laughter and other good feelings.
  • Find Humor In Your Life: Instead of complaining about life’s frustrations, try to laugh about them. If something is so frustrating or depressing it’s ridiculous, realize that you could ‘look back on it and laugh.’ Think of how it will sound as a story you could tell to your friends, and then see if you can laugh about it now. With this attitude, you may also find yourself being more lighthearted and silly, giving yourself and those around you more to laugh about. Approach life in a more mirthful way and you’ll find you’re less stressed about negative events, and you’ll achieve the health benefits of laughter.

Years ago I used to read Erma Bombeck because she found a lot of humor in every day life.  I think I’ll start reading her again.

The Mind of a Water Pick – A Caregiver Shares Her Story

This post is from Mary Jollett who wanted to share her story with us.  This is a reminder that caregiving has moments that are just plain funny.  Sometimes you just have to laugh at the little bit of humor that comes from daily routines.

Mom has a lot a difficulty with oral hygiene. Her disabled right hand makes flossing out of the question. She uses a water pick as best she can. One evening, she wanted to clean her teeth thoroughly. She decided to use the water pick with some mouth wash added to the water in the reservoir. She placed the water pick in her mouth and turned it on. That is when all hell broke lose.

Have you ever seen a fire hose dance on the ground like a boa constrictor? The water pick filled her mouth to overflow . . . she was foaming at the mouth when she pulled it out. Before I could get hold of it, there was watered down mouth wash all over the ceiling, mirror, floor, Mom and me. Mom was making her usual muffled sounds of panic, “OH, OH, NOOOO!” I just starting laughing and couldn’t stop. What else was there to do? It reminded me of the old Woody Allen movie in which all the appliances take on minds of their own.

Come to think of it . . . Better keep an eye on those water picks and don’t forget to laugh!

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Posted on : Jan 17 2009
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Posted under Just for Fun, Your Story |

Caregiving Directives – Are Your Legal Documents In Order

Between my daughter, Nichole and I, we have been Gladys’ caregivers for the past three years.  Even though we stepped into caregiving under unfortunate circumstances, we were glad that Gladys had the foresight to take care of legal documents and directives.  In 1993 she had her attorney draw up all the necessary paperwork to give me her Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney.

In this video Scott Solkoff shares information on: Living Wills, Health Care Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogates and Do Not Resuscitate Orders.

Related Reading:
Caregiver’s Legal Stuff: Bank Accounts, Pensions, Social Security