Sometimes, You Just Have to Laugh

For CaregiversWellness

Laughter may not technically be the ‘best’ medicine, but it does have plenty of benefits. That’s why we want to periodically take a look at the lighter side of caregiving. As a caregiver, funny things will happen sometimes, and it’s important to let yourself enjoy the giggle.

Here are some real stories we hope will put a smile on your face.

“My mom’s parents still live on their farm. Grandpa Clifford will soon be 97. He has a sound mind and has been incredibly healthy. Grandma Mae is 93. She’s always been a super hard worker, amazing cook, and kept an immaculate house. She started showing signs of dementia a few years ago. She’s aware of it, which is good in that she knows not to cook, to look at the dry erase board for reminders, and to let Grandpa give her medications. I don’t know how many times it’s happened, but it’s a common thing that Grandma has lost her dentures and Mom and Grandpa go through the house trying to find them. Once it was under the bed. Once under the couch – and once in the refrigerator in a bowl with a biscuit.” – Nicole H.

“My mom had some entertaining stories when her Alzheimer’s began. Her sister came to visit and asked her how she had been. Mom told her she was well and had just been on a trip. She said she had travelled to Ireland, and it had been absolutely beautiful, so she decided to walk across to England. When she got there, she met the queen, who was very nice considering she was royalty and Mom wasn’t.” – Jennifer B.

“My mom lives in an assisted living and memory care community very close to our house. Doctors say she has ‘moderate’ Alzheimer’s. I let her keep a credit card to try to provide her as much enjoyment and independence as possible. She loves clothes and likes to order them out of catalogs. The clothes are delivered to our house and we bring them to her. We started noticing she had multiple orders of the same clothes item. When we brought the clothes to her and pointed this out, she replied, ‘I must have liked it so much I ordered two of them.’

“My wife and I couldn’t help but chuckle. We could smile because the clothes were relatively inexpensive and we developed a system to address her forgetful ordering. It’s also nice she has a layer of protection living in a community with staff who look out for her and protect her from scams or more serious financial mishaps.” – Dave D.

“My 87-year-old father lives two miles from us, and I have assisted in all aspects of his care over the last 12 years. Doctors’ visits, hospital stays, downsizing homes (twice), property management, financial management, IT support, being his ‘Uber driver,’ etc. He refers to me as dial-a-daughter as he knows I’m just a phone call away for anything he needs. When it comes to my dad, I’ve dealt with a lot, but I was not prepared for a text I received from him last September.

“It read like this: ‘I just want you to know your 87-year-old father jumped from an airplane at 14,000 feet this afternoon! It was a wonderful ride and very exhilarating … didn’t want anybody to know because I was afraid you’d talk me out of it. Love you.’

“WHAT???? OMG I can’t believe he did that! First, that was a lot for him to successfully text, so I was already pretty impressed! But Dad has a lifelong fear of heights. He had often mentioned skydiving in recent years, I just never thought he was serious.

“I tip my cap to Dad who lives life on his terms. Keeping tabs on him is often challenging, sometimes tiring and frustrating, but always a great honor!” – Lisa S.

And sometimes, we have to laugh at ourselves a bit.

“There was a time when I went to visit grandma, and I walked into her room and saw her snoozing in bed with her feet hanging off and her face covered. I sat down and started talking to her to see if she was ready to wake up from her nap. After a while of no response, I just lifted the covers and realized it wasn’t even my mother in the bed. My mother was in the dining room eating some lunch! I was SO embarrassed that it took me that long to realize I wasn’t chatting with grandma.” – Kelsey C.

Do you have a funny caregiving story to share? Let us know!