How can I keep a sense of humor while caring for someone with Alzheimer’s?

It is important to keep a sense of optimism. Another reason to keep a good sense or humor is laughing increases endorphin activity in the brain and makes you feel better. Don’t worry if you think you might have lost your sense of humor forever. It just needs exercise, like other parts of your body.

There are numerous ways to do this. Determine what makes you laugh … and then give yourself permission to do it! Try to laugh — a lot and as often as possible.

Here are some tips on how to make it happen:

  • Keep a humor file. This might include jokes from the Internet or friends’ emails, newspaper cartoons or anything else that makes you laugh. Keep it in a “go to” place so you can pull it out after especially stressful days.
  • Listen to humor on radio. There are some satellite services nowadays that offer several channels of all-comedy routines.
  • Go to comedies at the theater or cinema. Include your loved one who has Alzheimer’s as long as you can.
  • Consider buying comedy DVDs or videos, or checking them out at your local library. Watch them with your loved one. Laughing together is extremely healthy.
  • Allot time to read humorous books or articles or the comic pages in a newspaper, even comic books if that’s what you like.
  • Invite a friend over and talk about old times. You also can involve your loved one in the conversation.
  • Post humorous photos, cartoons and anecdotes around the house. Be sure to locate them in areas you spend a lot of time.
  • Surround yourself with happy, healthy people who exude optimism and don’t take themselves or life too seriously. It does rub off and affect others.
  • Journal funny things that you might come across during the day, such as something someone said or did — especially your loved one. Later, you can read them and laugh again.
  • Whenever you or your loved one does something funny, laugh. Laughing (at our selves in particular) is fantastic medicine.