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Yes, And: Experience Comedy in Dementia Caregiving

Yes, And: Experience Comedy in Dementia Caregiving

Yes, And Experience Comedy in Dementia Caregiving. Sometimes it's laugh or cry, but do you know how to get more laughs? Could comedy (improv specifically) help you engage with your loved one better? The art of "yes, and..." is the key to better communication and navigating challenges with grace and compassion. Embracing a "yes and" approach, caregivers validate the emotions of those they care for while introducing lighthearted moments that ease tension. Whether through gentle jokes, playful banter, or creative storytelling, humor becomes a language that transcends the boundaries of memory loss, fostering connection and enriching the caregiving journey with shared laughter and understanding.

About Our Guest

What better teacher of the "yes and" approach than a nurse, actress, and stand-up comedian? You get all three talents in Nanciann Hovarth. At age 5, Nanciann decided to be a nurse when she saw those great crisp white uniforms. After graduating High School (Freedom) and Nursing school (Sacred Heart Hospital School of Practical Nursing), she moved to Morristown, N. J., where she did nursing and local theater. She also started taking classes in NYC for acting, commercials, and improvisation. 

Nanciann has always seen the need to live in the present moment. Nursing has shown her we all are here to make a difference, and each day is truly a gift. After improvising with the LA Connection and other LA groups, she started reading and researching the health benefits of improv. Her business, Improv For Health, has been building for years with health groups, businesses, church groups, schools, senior centers, and anyone interested in obtaining better total health.

By the end of this episode, you'll have discovered the power of laughter and the joy of living in the moment, all through the lens of our inspiring guest, Nanciann. 

Time Stamps

Don't miss this heartwarming, enlightening, and jovial conversation!

(0:00:01) - Improv for Health and Alzheimer's Caregiving

(0:05:44) - Embracing the Unexpected

(0:14:56) - Arizona Trip and Importance of Laughter

(0:19:29) - Embracing Common Sense and Gratitude

(0:32:10) - Neural Reserves and Dangers of Multitasking

(0:35:46) - Effects of Multitasking and Phone Strategies

(0:47:44) - Joy in Daily Routines, Overcoming Challenges

(0:54:02) - Bringing Up Dogs and Breeder Contracts

(1:02:38) - Dog's Medical Journey and Improv Life

(1:09:42) - Life at a Senior Living Facility


Related episode:

Make Grandma Smile – Engagement & Activities


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Fading Memories was created to support family caregivers in a simple, on-demand form. When I was looking for advice on caring for my Mom, I needed this podcast. Since it didn’t exist, I created what I needed!
Jen – pod host

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