Episode 004: 9 Beginner Steps to Raising Parents (part 4)

Episode Description:

Step 7 “Be Fun” and Step 8 “Be Loving” are introduced as the next of the 9 Beginner Steps to Raising Parents or an Aging Adult. Stories and tips are shared about how important having fun is for the person you are caring for as well as yourself. Fun includes laughter and music. It is also important to show your love for the person you are caring. Resources are shared to help you prepare in caring for an aging adult. Zack Demopoulos is your host and has guests provide insights. Guests include wife Phyllis and Eugene “Gene” Foret. This show is dedicated to Chuck Berry who passed away on March 18th, 2017.

Show Notes:

  • Step 7 “Be Fun.” Zack and his brother’s father-in-law Eugene “Gene” Foret open up having a good time singing while Gene plays a rendition of Alabama’s “Play me some mountain music”.
  • Zack asks when is the last time you had a really good time, he means a real good time with your parent full of joy, laughter and even tears?
  • Refer back to Episodes 1 (click here) for Steps 1 & 2 Beginner Steps To Raising Your Parents and Episode 2 for Steps 3 & 4 (click here) and Episode 3 for Steps 5 & 6 (click here).
  • Zack challenges wife Phyllis to her comment “Laughter is the best medicine”; He did some research and found although there are arguments on both sides, research is leaning more to “Yes,” that smiling has a positive impact on your health.  He refers to a study done by William B Strean, a PHD in the Canadian Family Physician journal titled it “Laughter Prescription” (click here). Strean shares that there has been clinical evidence which shows the positive impact of laughter. Some of the areas it has been reported Zack can attest to witnessing such as geriatrics, oncology, rehabilitation, rheumatology, home care, palliative care, and hospice care.
  • Zack also refers to Helen Hunter who is an independent geriatric social worker, consultant, trainer and spiritual director. She wrote an article for caregiver.com titled “Laughter is the best medicine” (click here)
  • Hele Hunter writes that there are studies that show physical effects of laughing, for example, how it releases stuff in your brain that gives you a natural high, or how it can reduce pain, relax the body. Zack reflects that this is good for both the caregiver and the person receiving the care. She also shares tips on how to keep the fun going in your lives…such as trying to smile all the time…it is contagious; surround yourself with fun people; laugh at yourself and at situations vs. bemoaning; and pay attention to children and emulate them. Zack suggests taking kids to visit parents offers the benefit of having fun.
  • Phyllis shares some insights from experience with clients.
  • Zack shares that music is an important part of having fun. He learns what his clients like in music, he goes back to the office to research it because it probably is music he is not familiar with such as oldie’s, opera, and classical guitar, he downloads the music onto a cd, and takes it to his client so they can have fun with it.
  • Gene shares a story about how music made an impact on someone
  • Step 8 “Be Loving.”
  • Phyllis shares insights about what “Be Loving” means to her.
  • Zack talks about how this step is about showing love, not how to love. He adds that any care recipient can feel whether-or-not someone is loving them.
  • Phyllis shares story about a client she loved.
  • Next week we are going to finish the series on the 9 Beginner Steps to Raising A Parent with the final step, Step 9 “Be There,” and will discuss how Steps 1 – 8 are critical to be effective with Step 9.
  • Correction from the last show, episode 3: Zack had incorrectly credited Ann Catlin with the topic of Compassion Fatigue and steps to avoid it when he should have credited Harriet Hodgson who is a free lance writer for the Caregiver Space website. (click here)
  • If you have feedback, resources to share, a question to ask, or a great story please go on our website and send an email. (click here)
  • If you like Raising ‘Rents, please go on iTunes and write us a review. View Raising ‘Rents in iTunes, click on Ratings and Reviews, click on “Write a Review”.   (Click here)

Links Referenced:


Chuck Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18th, 2017)

This show was dedicated to Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry. When it comes to having fun, all you need to do is play any of his music such as “Johnny B. Good” and you will be on your feet dancing. He was a music pioneer and often called “The Father of Rock and Roll”. A couple of bands used to cover his songs in the early 60’s–you may have heard of them–Beatles and Rolling Stones. He’s been a big influence to music leaders across the board, from Bruce Springsteen to AC DC.  He was married for 68 years and had four children. Recently on his 90th birthday this past October he announced he was going to release an album with two of his kids, the first since 1979. Thank you, Chuck Berry, for what you have done for the music world and for your fans.


  • Raising ‘Rents Intro and Ending music by Arthaiz
  • Free play guitar by Eugene “Gene” Foret
  • Other music: “jazzyfrenchy,” “Betterdays,” and “Loveinspire” from Bensound.com
  • “Inspirational dramatic” by Dmitriy Simf
  • Doorbell from soundjay.com
  • Daughter Anastasia Demopoulos does the opening voice over
  • Thank you to guest Eugene “Gene” Foret
  • Website developed and managed by Philip Golden
  • Last but not least, thank you to wife Phyllis for her insights and stories.

Raising ‘Rents Podcast is made possible by the support of ComForCare, a national home care provider who truly helps you live your best life possible.  (visit website here)