It's a Little Bit Funny
Humor is a powerful tool that can bring us together in unexpected ways. Today we meet a caregiver who was inspired to create a company that creates connection – one laugh at a time.
And we meet two experts who dive into the reasons why humor is so beneficial.
CAREGIVER: DANI KLEIN MODISETT
DANI KLEIN MODISETT is the comedian and author of “Take My Spouse, Please.” (Shambhala Press) about the importance of laughter in long-term marriage. Her first book, “Afterbirth…stories you won’t read in Parents magazine,” (St. Martin’s Press, 2009) was based on the live show she created by the same. She has written for the LA Times, NY Times.com, AARP, Parents Magazine and numerous websites. Following her mother’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, she launched “Laughter On Call”, a business pairing comedians with seniors, training healthcare workers and everyone feeling isolated how to create connection through shared laughter. She is a graduate of Dartmouth and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.
EXPERTS: CHRISTINA IRVING, BARRY J. JACOBS
CHRISTINA IRVING is the Client Services Director at Family Caregiver Alliance. She oversees the staff of the Bay Area Caregiver Resource Center who provide direct services to family caregivers, including assessment, counseling, education, and support. She has been with FCA for over 14 years, first as a Family Consultant and then as Clinical Supervisor. She received a Master’s degree in Social Work from San Jose State University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
BARRY J. JACOBS is a noted clinical psychologist and family therapist whose passion for enhancing support for family caregivers led him to author several books and dozens of articles on the topic as well as present and speak nationally and internationally to organizations, associations, and providers. His areas of expertise include behavioral health integration, complex care management, enhancing family caregiver engagement and supports, practice transformation, team-based care, and provider wellness. He brings this wealth of knowledge, along with decades of clinical practice experience to individuals, couples and families, to HMA.
He currently leads practice coaching for behavioral health and substance use disorder providers and has provided training to payer and Area Agencies on Aging care managers on partnering with family caregivers. He has also provided strategic development and program design for states, payers, and vendors. A highly in-demand presenter, Dr. Jacobs has given multiple Grand Rounds to physician groups, been a keynote speaker at caregiver conferences in several states, and provided webinars on reducing opioid use disorder stigma, using digital platforms to support caregivers, and behavioral health system transformation. Before joining HMA, he was the director of behavioral sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program. He trained physical and behavioral health students and led an interprofessional team in his health system’s complex care management program for high-utilizing frail elderly patients, as well as for younger Medicaid patients with complex social problems. He is the author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers—Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent and co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers—Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family and the forthcoming Love and Meaning for Couples After 50.
Dr. Jacobs has given more than 600 presentations about caregiving for family caregivers, community groups, and medical and mental health professionals and serves as a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association and an honorary board member of the Well Spouse Association. He appeared on “The Dr. Phil Show” in 2017 as a family caregiving expert.
A former magazine journalist, he loves to do research, conduct interviews and write. In the mid-1980s, he helped put together the first Rolling Stone encyclopedia of rock and roll and wrote extensively for The Village Voice. Today, he writes a monthly self-help column for family caregivers on AARP.org. He has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University. He and his wife live in the leafy college town of Swarthmore, PA and have two adult children doing good in the world.