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Humor in Caregiving

There are a lot of funny moments that can happen while you’re providing care to a loved one in your life. While nothing is funny about disease, injury, or losing independence as you age, it’s also all right as a family caregiver to not take everything so seriously sometimes and allow yourself to have a good laugh.

Let’s talk about the benefits of finding the humor in the middle of a difficult situation.

Funny moments can happen

Everything doesn’t have to be serious in life or in caregiving. Sometimes a little bit of humor in caregiving can make all the difference in your mood. Being upset, angry, miserable, tense, or frustrated all the time won’t make your loved one any healthier. But having a giggle can take the edge off and lighten the mood.

Sometimes the tensest moments are when we can most use humor. Even if that’s when it feels the most wrong or inappropriate to laugh. So here is your permission slip to not take everything so seriously.

Laughter is the best medicine

Not only is having humor during the caregiving process good for the temporary easing of the mood, but it can also actually improve your health. There are a lot of benefits to laughter. 

According to, laughter:

  • Strengthens your immune system

  • Boosts your mood

  • Reduces pain

  • Reduces the effect of stress on your body

  • Protects your heart

  • Increases blood flow

  • Releases endorphins

  • And even burns some calories

It also helps you feel more inspired, less, burdened, and grounded with those around you. In other words, this is a free medicine you can use to make yourself and the loved one in your care a little healthier.

Finding the humor

It’s not bad, rude, or disrespectful to smile or laugh when something’s funny. Your loved one with dementia, for example, may replace a word they can’t remember with one that’s irreverent or do something a bit out of character. When you smile and encourage them to do the same, you add a little joy – something positive – to a situation that might be otherwise sad, frustrating, or disheartening.

Remember – you’re not laughing at them, you’re laughing at a funny, nonsensical, or out-of-the-blue situation. As you giggle and give your loved one permission to giggle, you hopefully encourage that laughter to continue in the future. Building up a foundation of laughter can be the best medicine – and a way to connect with your loved one during hard times.

Laughter isn’t the only way to better your health. A lot of caregivers mistakenly assume caring for themselves is a luxury for another time – easy to put off. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Your well-being is a big deal for both you and the person you're looking after. From the emotional toll of witnessing a loved one's struggle up close to the physical and mental strain of continuous care, family caregivers navigate a complicated situation each day. Click here to learn how to fit in fitness and prioritize your wellness as a family caregiver.

Closing Thoughts

Caring for an aging or ailing loved one can be stressful. As such, it’s important to give yourself permission to find the joy where you can.

As a family caregiver in California, we invite you to check out our library of free resources. The California Caregiver Resource Center of Orange County is here to provide assistance and guidance. Together, we can navigate the healthcare landscape and help you provide the best possible care for your loved one(s) over time.


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