Helping Your Elders Feel Special During the Holidays - Anywhere
People with Alzheimer’s and Their Caregivers Fight back

Humor Essential Therapy Even With Alzheimer’s

Dear Carol: My grandfather has Alzheimer’s disease, so my mom shows me your column a lot. I love Gramps and would never want to hurt him, but sometimes he says and does things that are funny, even though he can’t help it. Also, when I help him sometimes things go wrong, but it ends up being funny because no one gets hurt.  I’m never disrespectful to him, but if I tell friends about something he did like when he told my aunt to her face that she was too fat, my mom gets mad. She says I shouldn’t laugh at him. I’m not really laughing at Gramps. I’m just telling a friend about a funny situation. Is this disrespectful? – Jody

Dear Jody: We all need humor, particularly during hard times. You aren’t laughing at your grandfather, you are laughing at the way his disease makes him blurt out words that otherwise would be filtered or behave in ways that can be amusing. It’s a matter of being clear to your friend that you’re laughing at the situation, not at your grandfather.

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