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Hospice Humor Gains a Following

from Greensboro News & Record

Roy Cato is dying. But that hasn't stopped him or his caregivers from finding a way to keep laughing. Whether it's jokes about enemas ("the enemy," Cato calls them) or his long-term planning ("I need a calendar"), he has embraced humor as a necessary part of life — even as he nears the end of his own. "I've always kept it light my whole life, so why would I stop now?" he said, resting recently in his Minneapolis living room adorned with yellow smiley faces. Although it may seem counterintuitive, laughter is a useful and often used tool in hospice care, said Niels Billund, a registered nurse and case manager for Fairview Home Care and Hospice, who visits Cato at least once a week. In between checking blood pressure and asking medical questions, he chats up his patients, using his quick wit to engage them and, hopefully, induce a smile, too. more

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