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How Is Laughter Healthy for the Elderly?

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Many seniors claim laughter has a way of making them feel better, and there’s good reason for that sensation. The simple act of laughing can work wonders on a senior’s overall wellbeing. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Roseville families trust, believes your elderly loved one could always use a little more laughter in life. The following benefits are merely a few reasons why.

Physical Benefits

A deep belly laugh can reduce stress hormones like cortisol and trigger your loved one’s brain to release endorphins, chemicals that contribute to an overall sense of feeling good. Laughing also has a similar effect to a mild workout. Pulse, respirations, and blood pressure all increase, which sends more oxygenated blood to vital organs and tissues. Laughing can even boost your loved one’s immune system by increasing the production of immune cells and antibodies that help his or her body fight infection.

Emotional Benefits

Humor can help shift perspective when handling difficult situations. It helps create a psychological distance between your loved one and the problem he or she is facing. This can keep him or her from feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Simply hearing laughter primes the brain to expect something positive, and this effect can last long after the laughter subsides.

Social Benefits

Humor and laughter help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are common among seniors. Laughter is a powerful tool for strengthening relationships and building emotional connections with other individuals. The act of laughing with a friend, family member, or Roseville caregiver can effectively dissolve your loved one’s past feelings of hurt and resentment and unite him or her with others through the bond of a shared experience. 

If your loved one needs more laughter in his or her life, encourage him or her to consider the following:

  • Get a pet – Studies show pets, regardless of the type, can provide numerous physical and psychological benefits. It is almost impossible not to smile and laugh at the playful antics of a kitten or puppy.
  • Make a resolution to smile more – Laughter and smiles are often contagious. By making a conscious effort to smile more, your loved one may automatically attract more positive people.
  • Move toward the laughter – When your loved one sees others laughing, he or she should make the effort to become a part of the conversation. Also, he or she should spend more time with naturally playful people who laugh a lot. 

Though laughter can’t cure every ailment your loved one has, trying to look on the humorous side can make life’s challenges a little easier to manage. If your loved one needs a regular companion to laugh with, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide social stimulation and emotional support while assisting with everyday tasks, and we also offer comprehensive stroke, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s care for Roseville seniors. Call a Care Manager at 916.226.3737 today to learn more.