Why humor is important

Why Humor is Important When Caregiving


As a caregiver, you face many challenges on a day-to-day basis. You may feel overwhelmed and isolated with how you are feeling. You may also deeply care about the person you are caring for and feel anxious about dealing with the potential heartbreak of loss. These everyday stressors can take a toll on you. Every once in a while, humor can serve as a break, helping you to be better equipped to tackle the everyday situations with your family member, together.

They say humor can be one of our best surviving tools. Humor is an absolute must-have if we want to survive the everyday situations life can bring. Sometimes, it forces you to deal with things that are of a somber and more serious nature, like family going through a terminal illness. 

William Palmer, family caregiver, shared when his aunt was on her dying bed, he told her he would have more jokes to share with her once they are both in heaven. According to William, he uses humor to comfort people around him who are sick or dying.

He shares his take on humor:

When you use humor when interacting with people, whatever serious situation they may be in, they get the chance to forget for a bit the dire situation they are actually in. They don’t have to think about something that is already on their minds all the time. They get to have a laugh and a sense of relief, even if it is only for a while. 

Aside from the comforting lightheartedness humor can bring, he said, having humor can serve to disarm yourself as a caregiver from the disease, leading you to become more comfortable with understanding the disease better.

When someone is terminally ill, it can be uncomfortable for some people. Approaching the usual heavy topics with a bit of ease can make a big difference, especially to the family member who might be afraid and stressed out about their own diagnosis. 

It’s okay. It’s okay to laugh. It’s okay to make light of an otherwise serious situation from time to time. Dealing with heavy situations can be overwhelming. It’s okay to have an escape once in a while by laughing about it and sharing a joke with someone who could use one.  

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, there are plenty of support groups available in the community.  

Click here for more information on support groups. You can also call the Community Foundation at 775-333-5499 for any questions.  


Special thanks to: William Palmer III
Interview conducted by: Luiza Benisano

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