Laughter is good medicine. It helps to boost our mood and set us on a happy track for the remainder of the day.
As an entertainer, Marshall still has a need to see people laugh, and he can be quite funny. He no longer remembers the whole joke, but we are married long enough he doesn’t have to. I know what he’s trying to say, and that makes me laugh, which makes him laugh.
Whatever stage your loved one with Alzheimer’s is at, offer them the gift of laughter. People with Alzheimer’s can’t follow a lengthy story, so keep it simple. Look through the Sunday comics with them. Watch a comedy show together. Spend time with playful babies and pets. And just be happy around them. Your joy will be contagious even if they don’t get the joke.
(Have you seen my posts on the blogs Midwest Mary and Saint Theodora/Mother Theodore Guerin?)
I am so sorry to read about your husband. My mother had this disease for three years and passed away March 15, 2015. She had long term memory, but no short term. I always said, “She had become the mother I did not remember,” as she told me many, many stories regarding myself when I was a baby and growing up. Things I never knew, and what a blessing that was for me!
Myself and my family “laughed a lot,” and it got us through so much. We did not “laugh” at Mom we laughed with her.
I want to tell you what helped me more than anything. I lived in her world, and did not try to make her live in mine. We used to work jig-saw puzzles with her, which was a great way to engage her into conversation. It also helped to stimulate her mind. I would say something like, “Mom you were a good Mom, weren’t you?” From there she would just take control of the conversation, as she could remember years past. She would say something like, “I tried to be, but you dang kids were always into something.” (Which we were) 🙂 Then the stories would begin about me and my brother and sister.
Or I would say, “Mom do you remember ironing all of our clothes? Boy, Mom how did you do that?” She would say, “I wanted y’all to always look nice when you went to school or church.” Again she would just take it from there.
I found many wonderful things in my Mom’s memory. I lived with her, in those memories. That was okay, because I knew what was going on today. I did not realize how much my mother loved her children until she contracted, “Alzheimer’s.” She sacrificed everything for us. I only understood that, when today and tomorrow were gone for Mother, but yesterday lived in her heart and mind forever. Praying for you and family. God Bless, SR
Thank you for sharing your story about your mother and how you spoke with her, SR. I’ve learned to appreciate the day and what we do have. Have a blessed day!