We’ve all had “one of those days” – you’ve hit the snooze button one too many times and missed a significant meeting, the coffee maker picked today to cease working, you stumbled over the dog, dropping your phone and smashing the screen, and to make it even worse, you feel a cold coming on; and it’s not even 8 a.m. yet.
For people who are caregiving for a senior loved one, each day can feel overloaded with this same degree of stress. At Hearts at Home, one of the top Kansas City home health agencies serving the surrounding areas, we understand! Worries about 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. However, that may in fact be just what the doctor ordered to reduce stress and enable you to rediscover the joy and advantages of providing care for your loved one.
In fact, the benefits of laughter to both our mental and physical health are considerable and well documented, including:
- Boosting our immunity
- Decreasing our amount of stress hormones
- Lowering pain
- Increasing the heart’s functionality and decreasing heart attack risk
- Releasing endorphins that promote stress reduction for close to an hour
- And even improving our chance of living longer!
Needless to say, we’re not suggesting taking serious situations lightly, or laughing at your senior loved one. The key is in finding humor in the everyday experiences you encounter, and then sharing laughter together. Below are a few tips to get the ball rolling:
- Arrange for an afternoon of comedy. Find a classic humorous movie your family has enjoyed in the past, or a taping of a stand-up comedian, grab some snacks, relax and enjoy the show.
- Look online for jokes, funny stories, and one-liners, and make a list of those that are particularly funny. Set aside specific points during the day as “joke time,” drop whatever chore or task you’re doing at those designated times, and take a quick joke break.
- Spend time with children. Small children are innately cheerful, and just being around them as they play will undoubtedly lead to limitless possibilities for laughter.
- Make time to reminisce over beloved funny stories from the past. Pulling out photos or old home movies is a good way to trigger favorite recollections.
- Break out of the daily routine. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of busyness with chores and then crashing in front of the TV. Organize an outing to try something new with your senior loved one and simply enjoy quality time together.
Hearts at Home is always at hand to help relieve caregiving stress in a variety of ways. Allow us to help with housework, laundry, preparing meals, running errands and more, and rediscover the joy of having fun with your senior loved one! As one of the top Kansas city home health agencies with services throughout the surrounding areas, we’re here with as much or as little assistance needed to improve quality of life for both your senior loved one and yourself. Contact us online or call us at 913-440-4209 to learn more!