You know what it’s like to have “one of those days” – you’ve overslept and missed an important meeting, the coffee maker picked today to stop operating, you tripped over the cat, dropping your phone and shattering the screen, and to make it even worse, you feel a cold coming on; and it’s not even 8 a.m. yet.
For individuals who are caregiving for an older loved one, each day can feel overloaded with this same degree of stress. At Home With You, the leading provider of Owings Mills senior care, we get it! Anxieties around ensuring your loved one is comfortable, safe, and healthy combine with the stress of how to undertake all of the day’s to-dos, and the last thing on a caregiver’s mind may be a hearty belly laugh. Still, that may in fact be just what the doctor ordered to decrease stress and allow you to rediscover the joy and advantages of providing care for your loved one.
As a matter of fact, the effects of laughter to both our mental and physical health are significant and well documented, such as:
- Giving our immunity a boost
- Lowering our level of stress hormones
- Decreasing pain
- Enhancing the heart’s functionality and decreasing heart attack risk
- Releasing endorphins that promote stress reduction for close to an hour
- And even raising our chance of a longer life!
Needless to say, we’re not advocating taking serious circumstances lightly, or laughing at your senior loved one. The key is in uncovering humor in the day-to-day experiences you encounter, and then sharing laughter together. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Arrange for an afternoon of comedy. Find a classic funny movie your family has enjoyed in the past, or a taping of a stand-up comedian, grab some snacks, sit back and enjoy the show.
- Search online for jokes, funny stories, and one-liners, and compile a list of those that are particularly funny. Schedule specific points during the day as “joke time,” drop whatever chore or task you’re doing at those selected times, and take a quick joke break.
- Spend time with kids. Small children are inherently joyful, and just being around them as they play will no doubt lead to boundless possibilities for laughing.
- Make time to reminisce over treasured funny stories from the past. Pulling out photographs or old home movies is a great way to spark favorite memories.
- Break out of the everyday routine. It’s easy to become stuck in a pattern of busyness with chores and then crashing in front of the television. Arrange for an outing to try something different with your senior loved one and simply enjoy quality time together.
Home With You is always available to help alleviate stress in a variety of ways. Allow us to provide support with housework, laundry, preparing meals, running errands and more, and rediscover the pleasure of having fun with your senior loved one! Providing the highest quality home care in Pikesville and surrounding areas, we’re here with as much or as little assistance as needed to improve quality of life for both your senior loved one and yourself. Contact us at (410) 654-3300 to learn more!