Welcome to the fifth of my seven ‘mini’ blogs for UK Dementia Awareness Week 2013. They are all themed around talking about dementia, exploring different aspects of conversation from the point of view of people who are living with dementia, carers and families.
Day 5 – Better to laugh than cry
I have encountered many amazing people with dementia who incorporate humour into living with the disease. That’s not to say that they find the distasteful jokes about dementia funny. They don’t, and those jokes really aren’t funny to anyone who has personal experience of dementia, but humour that lightens the load for the people with the heaviest burdens is a priceless gift.
Dementia’s naughty side can produce words from lips that had never previously uttered such language. Those moments of confusion, misunderstanding or using the ‘wrong’ words can bring smiles and laughter, both for the person with dementia and those who they are interacting with.
Finding humour is an important element in helping someone to live well with dementia, and for the person themselves it is often far better to laugh about something that they are finding challenging rather than getting angry. Making light of difficult situations can remove those feelings of inadequacy or guilt at not being able to do something.
Laughter, as they say, is a great medicine, so take those opportunities to talk, joke, smile and laugh together to find the happiness and wellbeing that most people never associate with dementia.
Next post on 24 May 2013.