November 6, 2019
Have you ever felt yourself about to bubble over with irrepressible laughter, at the most awkward moment – in a crowded elevator, a silent waiting room, or a religious service? Although there are, of course, times when we have to control the silliness, writer Jane Heller says that, “Humor can keep us balanced, even in the grimmest of times. It reminds us that despite illness and disability, there are moments of real joy in life and we need to embrace them.”
The many benefits of laughter for seniors are remarkable, including:
- Releasing endorphins that ease stress
- Strengthening brain connectivity
- Delivering a social boost
- Improving pain
- Enhancing the immune system
- Improving mood
- Protection from heart problems
- Stimulating circulation and muscle relaxation, each of which relieve stress
- And so many more
Even though there’s nothing funny in regards to being given a difficult medical diagnosis for someone you care about, there are ways to keep up an underlying sense of positivity that could trigger more possibilities for laughter:
- Be intentional about placing bits of humor around your home/office, which can include a well-liked comic strip, meme, funny photographs, etc.
- Look into a laughter yoga class – yes, there honestly is such a thing!
- Adjust your reading material and TV viewing to incorporate additional lightheartedness. Include joke books – or browse the internet for new jokes to add to your arsenal.
- Enjoy time with loved ones and close friends who raise your spirits. Recount prior memories together that make you laugh, and create new ones!
- Discover how to laugh at yourself, switching your internal dialogue from reprimands for mistakes to the comfort in understanding we’re all human.
Surprisingly, even if you don’t feel like laughing, benefits can still be accomplished through faking or forcing laughter, according to certified health coach Nancy Kalish.
Continuum’s caregivers help bring joy and laughter to older adults and respite for their families each and every day. Our friendly senior companions spend quality time with senior loved ones, engaging in conversations, games, puzzles, exercise, fun outings, and naturally, laughter. And with our full selection of in-home care services, such as meal preparation, household chores, and tending to personal care needs, family care providers and the older adults they love are able to spend more quality time simply taking pleasure in each other’s company. Let us help brighten your world! Contact us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 any time for more information about elder care management or to schedule an in-home consultation.