As trusted Palo Alto in home care providers, we know things can get stressful when a family member cares for an aging loved one with memory issues or dementia. To a certain degree, people get forgetful when they get on up there in age. Even those who are relatively young can become the victims of dementia; stressful for everyone in the family. Sometimes a little humor is necessary to lighten the mood and reduce a stressful situation!
Getting frustrated and becoming unable to control negative feelings only makes things worse. When you're caring for an aging parent who's 80 or 90 years old, chiding him or her or becoming angry when your parent forgets something or tells the same story over and over again isn't the best approach, and will leave your loved one feeling tense, defensive, or even sad when you're around.
Of course humor isn't the right approach in every situation, but it's important to reduce the stress and negative energy in the room, both for your aging loved one, and yourself. Here are a couple of ways to lighten the mood and make both yourself and your parent feel better.
Don't try to steer an absurd moment in another direction; instead, have fun with it. It's easy to focus on the fact that your dad has dementia or memory issues - however it isn't healthy for either of you. Whatever the situation, find the opportunities to be a little irreverent and make it fun.
Find the humor in things your parent thinks are funny, even when you don't. As a caregiver, you probably have many days when you're not feeling really upbeat. Caregiving is a stressful, tiring, and emotionally draining job for many adult children who care for their parents. You can actually make yourself and your loved one feel better by simply laughing at the moment - even on cue. When your parent reminisces about something that happened in the past and finds it funny, laugh along with him or her. You'll be amazed how it eases the tension and relaxes the moment.
Lighten up, and remember that your aging loved one isn't doing it on purpose! Use humor as a tool for dealing with these issues. For instance, you may say something silly when things get stressful, such as telling your parent "You're okay, I'm okay, and we're in this stew together!"
It all comes down to the fact that when you're caring for an aging loved one with dementia, Alzheimer's, or memory issues, there are lots of bloopers along the way. Laugh along, make stressful situations funny when you can, and realize how humor can make the day easier for both of you.
At Care Indeed, our Palo Alto caregiving services are designed to meet all your needs, whether an aging loved one needs daily help, overnight care, help transitioning from the hospital to home, or other solutions customized to your needs.