It’s no joke that laughter is oftentimes the best medicine. Numerous physical and emotional health benefits are associated with laughter. Finding laughter in daily life contributes to a senior’s general well-being. Here are accessible activities that will tickle the funny bone in any older adult.
Humor has the tendency to lighten daily burdens. Jolly seniors are more readily able to surmount problems. Sharing a laugh with others enhances personal bonds. Overall, regularly enjoying hearty laughs is a priceless medicine, one that is free and available to all.
How is laughter good for physical health?
A belly laugh benefits the whole body. Tension and stress are relived, and muscles relax for up to 45 minutes after the laugh. As stress hormones decrease with laughter, immune cells and antibodies increase; the outcome is an improvement in disease resistance.
Having a good laugh increases blood flow, which serves as protection against cardiovascular problems. While laughter will not replace exercise, laughing heartily burns calories. A remarkable benefit of those with a sense of humor is that they tend to outlive those without one.
How is laughter beneficial for emotional well-being?
Endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, are released during laughter and promote overall well-being. Conflict is diffused, as shared laughter brings about a shift in perspective and gives individuals an opportunity to view problems from a different angle (seeing the funny side reduces bitterness).
Most invaluable is the fact that laughter adds a wealth of joy to life. Humor attracts the positive attention of others. Relationships are strengthened, and group bonding increases with shared laughter. For seniors who work with others, humor tends to enhance teamwork.
How do seniors introduce humor into daily life?
Countless activities appeal to seniors’ sense of humor. Many enjoyable pastimes are readily accessible to seniors of all level of physical functioning. Professional or family caregivers also may help the elderly find ways to incorporate a healthy dose of humor into each day.
1. Watch Movies, TV, Comic Shows
A funny movie may leave a senior in tears—tears of joy. While going to the movies or theaters may not be an option for seniors who are less mobile, watching a funny television show is equally riveting. Look for hilarious YouTube videos to include in the senior’s daily life.
Seniors are likely to get a kick out of watching comedians of a similar age. In California, for instance, the Senior Comedy Afternoons programs sends older audiences into fits of laughter. Elderly comics are thrilled to have older audiences, since they understand their humor.
2. Read the Funnies
Comics are intended to provoke laughter, and the most successful comics are anticipated regularly. Comics about senior life, like those by Bob Zahn, may be found online and in popular magazines. Humor about aging can be found in Off the Mark, a widely syndicated cartoon by Mark Parisi.
3. Tell Jokes
Children laugh hundreds of times per day, so having a rambunctious audience is sure to lead to an afternoon of merriment. Seniors who invite the grandkids for an afternoon of jokes automatically have an audience. Tell jokes or make a best attempt at tongue twisters—everyone will erupt in laughter.
4. Share Amusing Stories
While some comical stories are kept within a social circle, many are shared with all. Seniors who see the comedic sides of situations will find joy in sharing them with family and caregivers. They have a chance to laugh again as well as feed off the laughter enjoyed by others.
5. Play with Pets
Animals are unintentional jokesters. Puppies provoke infectious laughter in the elderly. Seniors will be amused to watch animals attempt to bring large branches through small doorways. Similarly, watching kittens play with a ball of yarn will lead to endless chuckles.
6. Visit the Bookstore
The humor section of a bookstore is a paradise for seniors who love a good laugh. Caregivers might transport elderly care recipients to the local bookstore and allow them to browse. Seniors may stumble upon a funny book; upon sharing the amusing contents with others, they double their fun.
7. Dance on Cue
Seniors with a wily sense of humor will jump at the chance to involve caregivers in their playfulness. Strike a deal with a caregiver: when the Macarena is played, the caregiver breaks out in dance. Seniors who play the song twice daily will burst out in laughter each time.
Creating moments of laughter is hardly limited to the abovementioned activities. Seniors have endless opportunities to laugh, from learning to juggle or wearing a silly nose to playing fun group games. Simply being silly, especially with caregivers, lends welcome humor to all.
Sometimes, family members live too far away or are too taxed by the responsibilities of their own households to be able to provide companionship to elderly loved ones. Seniors, however, have plenty of opportunities to socialize and laugh with companion care from Assisting Hands Home Care.
We pride ourselves as being compassionate companion caregivers. Assisting Hands Home Care service providers build strong relationships with the seniors we serve. We stimulate their minds with conversations, get to know their life stories, and join them in recreational activities.
In addition, our home care agency is involved in providing optimal nonmedical care. Professional caregivers support the elderly with all activities of daily living, such as personal hygiene tasks, meal preparation, transportation, timely medication reminders, light housekeeping, and grocery shopping.
Your senior loved one will enjoy the pleasant companionship of our professional caregivers. At the same time, the senior will benefit from the practical side of in-home care. Our caregivers are licensed, insured and bonded, so families and their elderly loved ones have maximum peace of mind.
Our home care is highly valued by seniors living in Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Highland Park, Lake Zurich, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Mundelein, Round Lake Beach, Vernon Hillsand the surrounding areas. Families have full confidence in the quality of elder support provided by caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care. Keep your loved one laughing and social by contacting us for reliable companion care.