Alzheimer Hot Line


Open 24 Hours a Day

E-mail me -




JOAN’S BLOG – MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2007 – Caregiving Conference Lessons Part II – Laughter and a Positive Outlook

Alzheimer’s Disease is serious business. Being a caregiving spouse of an Alzheimer sufferer is very serious business. As we all know, it causes intolerable heartache and stresses us to the breaking point. So how does one carry a positive outlook in the midst of such pain and sorrow?

I’m not sure I know the answer to that question. I can only pass along the information garnered from the “Positive Caregiving” Conference.

I have been to many conferences, but never one in which the Keynote Speaker performed stand-up comedy.

Tom Bergert-Clark runs Adult Day Care Centers; was a caregiver to both of his parents; wrote a book about his caregiving experience, Rosie John Doesn’t Live Here Any More, and kept a room of 150 caregivers and professionals laughing for almost an hour.

Laughter relaxes you, takes your mind off of your troubles, lowers your blood pressure, and is a most enjoyable de-stressor. His message was to enjoy life, bring laughter into all of your experiences, no matter how difficult the situation you are dealing with.

I happened to be sitting in the front row, and after his “address”, he came up to me, gave me a big hug, and told me how inspiring my bright smile and laughter was to him while he was performing. You know what? All of the laughter did relax me; allowed me to ease up on worrying about what Sid can and cannot do; allowed me to remember the love I have for my husband, rather than to focus on what we have lost in our relationship; and made for an all-around good day.

My advice to myself and to all of my readers: - Spend some time each day tuning in to a TV program that makes you laugh heartily; read a book that makes you laugh out loud; and find humor in your AD situation. Many of our readers have sent me their humorous stories. I invite you to take a few minutes to read them.

The afternoon presenters were Sally Bondi, actress, and Co-Owner of Comfort Keepers, which provides in home care services, as well as Bonnie Bonomo, Care Advocate of Leeza’s Place. Via a comedy routine, they conveyed the message that we need to start each day with a positive attitude. An attitude that says –We can do this difficult and demanding job, BUT we can only do it if we TAKE CARE OF US FIRST. We have all certainly heard that before. Click here for the TEN COMMANDMENTS OF CAREGIVING.

What are my true feelings on laughter and a positive attitude in the face of such devastation as Alzheimer’s Disease? I do honestly believe that if we don’t find laughter at least sometimes in a few of our situations, our spouse’s AD will destroy us as well as them.

As for the positive attitude, well, that is a little more difficult to achieve. Some of you may be better at it than I am, but I do see the value in it. If you wake up with the attitude that the day is going to be miserable, and you will never survive all of its challenges, you have pretty much sealed your fate. We can all TRY to wake up with the attitude that we will do our best to meet the challenges of the day!

What do you think? MESSAGE BOARD TOPIC: Can you have a positive attitude in dealing with AD?

Feedback to

View Printer Friendly Version























































The material included on this website contains general information intended as information only. This site is not intended to provide personal, professional, medical, or psychological advice, and should not be relied upon to govern behavior in any certain or particular circumstances. The opinions in the blogs are solely those of the owner of the website. The opinions on the message boards are not necessarily endorsed by the owner of this website, and are the opinions of those persons writing the messages. All material on this web site is for demonstration and informational purposes only.



The Alzheimer Spouse LLC 2009 All Rights Reserved














Custom Search