The age old adage that “laughter is the best medicine” holds true at every stage of life. While a giggle at the pediatrician may help a toddler feel more comfortable, a sense of humor and laughs shared between seniors and their caregivers may also help seniors feel engaged with those around them and foster an overall positive outlook.
Laughter is an undeniable mood booster for people of all ages and has been show to boost the immune system, increase stamina and even strengthen breathing through the release of endorphins. However, many times, the need for humor can get lost in the course of in-home elder care, as caregivers often feel that they are there for more serious reasons.
Incorporating Humor into Home Care
Elder care agencies can foster a positive culture within their business by training caregivers and using the power of a robust homecare software or homecare system, such as ClearCare, to incorporate a little fun into home care services.
Elder care is obviously a serious business – you’ve got someone’s overall wellbeing in your hands – however, with a little practice, caregivers can be a welcome dose of laughter and positivity for isolated or ailing seniors.
- Start by listening: Encourage intake specialists to note important personal details about clients within your home care software or home care system. Details like prior work experience, family, hobbies and life experiences can help caregivers get a better feel for who they’re working with.
- Encourage caregivers to know their clients: Remind caregivers to review a client’s assessment and information via your home care software, or home care system, like ClearCare and strike up conversations with clients to get to know more about them and what makes them tick. Does Marcie love a silly riddle? Or perhaps Joe loves dry humor that makes him cheer up during an arthritis flare up? When caregivers know what tickles their clients’ funny bones they can use appropriate humor in appropriate situations.
Easy Ways to Get a Giggle:
Different clients will love different nuances of humor, and notes left by caregivers within your agency’s home care software or home care system can help track that. For example, these easy ideas can be simple ways to make client’s smile:
- Situational Humor: Joking with clients about their hobbies can be a fun way to keep tasks light. For example, simple comments like, “Let’s get you strong enough so you can make sure those azalea’s have their favorite pruning expert ready in a couple months!” can be light hearted inspiration for an avid gardener. Be sure to keep jokes light, and kind, and gauge client’s responses.
- Cartoons: Something as simple as cutting out a cute cartoon that a client would love and bringing it by can be a major mood booster for seniors.
- Riddles: For those with a child-like sense of humor, consider arming your caregivers with a monthly email of a few fun riddles or knock-knock jokes that caregivers can use with the right clients.
When used appropriately, humor can help in-home elder care clients, and their caregivers, truly enjoy long-term care and boost the mood of clients and employees alike. With dedicated caregivers, who know their clients and listen for the right time to bring in laughter, as well as a home care software or home care system, such as ClearCare, to help track client interests – laughter can be one of the biggest benefits your agency offers.