It may be a cliché saying that laughter is the best medicine, but it actually has some substance, especially when it comes to elderly adults. Several studies show a positive link between humor and health, especially when it comes to reducing the risk for certain conditions and illnesses. Humor can also help with mental illness by helping elderly adults view life’s ups and downs with a different perspective.
Family caregivers can help their elders bring more humor into their daily life so they can reap the benefits.
Elder Care West Hills CA – Humor and Senior Health – Is Laughter the Best Medicine?
Humor Affects the Body
While it may be hard to believe, laughter and humor can have a positive affect on a person’s health. A lot of it has to do with how the person manages their stress. When stressed, the brain triggers hormones to flood the body, causing wear and tear among other things. Enjoying something humorous keeps those stress levels in check.
Chronic stress is linked to a greater risk of heart disease, chronic illnesses, high blood pressure and depression. Studies show that people who laugh regularly and enjoy an above average amount of humor in their lives do better with resisting illness, pain management, mental health and restful sleep, among other things. Other benefits include relaxing the muscles, burning calories, reduces blood pressure, relieves anxiety and even helps with digestive issues.
Bringing More Humor to Elderly Loved Ones
Family caregivers can play a big role in bringing more humor into the lives of their aging relatives. Of course, enjoying a few jokes everyday is not going to resolve all the health challenges that aging adults face. However, the positive effects of laughter can be an important part of an elder’s quality of life.
There are many things that family members, elder care assistants, friends and neighbors can do to expose an elderly person to the lighter side of life. Family caregivers and elder care aides can make sure the elderly person has a chance to watch funny TV comedies or record the late night talk shows to view the next day. Family caregivers and elder care aides can also drive seniors to local theatre performances of funny plays or to an afternoon at the movies.
Being with children is guaranteed to make elders laugh, so family caregivers should bring grandchildren and great-grandchildren around when possible. Many elders also volunteer at schools are reading aides or classroom helpers. Other sources of humor and laughter include senior center game days, funny online videos, spending time with friends, enjoying holidays and celebrations and even reading joke books.
If stress and isolation can have such a negative impact on an elderly person’s health, it makes sense that humor and laughter will do the opposite. Humor can definitely improve an elderly person’s health and wellness. That’s why it’s so important for family caregivers and elder care aides to ensure that even a little humor and laughter become part of the aging adult’s everyday life.
Belina Calderon-Nernberg is the CEO and founder of 1Heart Caregiver Services. Recently offering 1Heart franchise business opportunities to the public, Belina provided the vision, leadership, and direction that the company needed to achieve its goal of making a positive difference in the homecare industry. As her greatest accomplishment, the company is now equipped with the expertise to expand its business operations to different States in the U.S. Belina brings with her a corporate experience of 25 years, with 15 solid years of experience as CEO of an employment agency and a senior care service company in Southern California. Belina has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of St. La Salle, Philippines. She has been the recipient of several awards given to emerging leaders in business, community service, arts, and entertainment. She has also been honored as an Ambassador of Goodwill by the HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) Neighborhood Council. This title is bestowed to carefully selected Filipino-Americans who are persons of integrity who have the ability “to promote, reach out, influence and mobilize public interest and support of the ideals, values, principles, and programs of the Historic Filipinotown.