Carol Howell Talks Dementia: Let’s Be Funny

Recently I’ve had the pleasant experience of having Saturday morning brunch at Bob Evans Restaurant. There are only a few restaurants I frequent because I have an over abundance of food allergies, but the folks at Bob Evans accommodate my many requests.

My husband and I had the pleasure of being served by Tonya during our last few visits. Tonya has a unique way of serving her patrons. Most wait staff use the familiar lines of “What can I get for you today?” “How is your dinner?” “Would you like another coffee?” You know the lines. Then we met Tonya. She uses NONE of those lines.

“What can I order for you today and not deliver?” Excuse me…did she just say what I thought I heard? I responded with a request for a veggie omelet, no green peppers. “Got it. One double meat omelet, hold the veggies, and extra green peppers. Now what can I get for you, young man?” My husband ordered pancakes, scrambled eggs and a side of fruit. “One order of french toast, hold the eggs, add bacon. Your order will show up eventually.” By the time we finished ordering, I was laughing and shaking my head at this crazy waitress.

Tonya made our visit fun. She could have efficiently waited on us with a smile and a few kind words, and we would have left her a good tip. However, Tonya brought laughter with her efficient service, and I now look for her when we have our Saturday morning brunch. Her laughter was contagious, and that is something I appreciate.

Laughter does wonders for our folks with dementia. Laughter reduces anxiety and depression. It increases our sense of self-worth. There are no negative side effects—unless you fall in the floor from laughing too hard! Laugh with your loved ones with dementia. Laugh with everyone you meet. People will remember you for your laughter the way my husband and I remember Tonya.

Hope that gives you Something to Ponder.

Photo by Laurynas Mereckas via Flickr

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