Humor is enjoyed among people of all ages, but it turns out it’s particularly healthy for the elderly. That’s because laughter can prevent certain medical conditions for which older people tend to be at risk. Of course, not all senior citizens are aware of how helpful humor can be. That’s why their younger family members and in home elderly care caregivers should fill them in on the benefits of humor and then help them have a few laughs every day. Here’s what they need to know to get started.
Health Benefits of Laughter
There have been a few recent studies illustrating how laughter can help people avoid some medical conditions. For example, one study focused on 20 people in their 60s and 70s, putting them into two different groups. One of the groups sat quietly without reading or watching anything, and then the other group watched funny videos. About 20 minutes later, researchers got samples of their saliva and found that the group that had watched funny videos had lower cortisol levels, which means they were less stressed than the other group.
Additionally, the people in both groups took a memory test. The group that had watched the videos had much better memory recall than the other group, though the 20-minute break had apparently helped both groups. More specifically, the group that watched funny videos improved their memory by 43.6 percent, while the other group saw a 20.3 percent improvement in memory recall. Humor also seemed to improve learning ability, since it went up by 38.5 percent in the group that watched funny videos, compared to a 24 percent improvement in the other group.
Of course, this is not the first study to show the positive effects of humor. There have also been studies that show laughter can help prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, burn calories and release endorphins, improving the overall mood. So it makes sense for anyone–especially the elderly–to take advantage of these benefits by laughing a little or a lot every day.
How to Incorporate Humor Into a Loved One’s Life with In Home Elderly Care
Caregivers and family members providing in home elderly care care can ensure the elderly get some humor in their daily life in a few ways. If they’re able to visit frequently, they can get together for some lighthearted conversation, which is sure to involve a little laughter. Watching funny movies together — whether at home or at the movie theater — is another easy way to introduce humor into anyone’s life.
Not everyone lives close enough to their elderly relatives to see them often, but they can still make them laugh in other ways. They can make a phone call or set up a video chat to have a fun conversation just like they would in person. They can also buy joke books or funny movies and have them delivered to their elderly relative, even if they’re across the country. Buying a gift card for movie tickets and instructing relatives to use them to go see a comedy with a friend is another way to ensure they get some laughs on a regular basis. They can even buy elderly relatives a subscription to a humorous or lighthearted magazine so they can look forward to a few laughs as soon as they check the mail.
Granted, it’s often more fun to share a laugh with someone else than alone. So when an elderly relative or loved on lives far away, setting up in home senior care – a person to come help with daily tasks and provide companionship — and even some laughter — can help. First In Care is pleased to provide this type of assistance for anyone interested in keeping their elderly loved ones safe and happy at home.
First In Care also offers humor and laugh therapy. Learn more by reading this post See the Lighter Side of Life: Humor and Laugh Therapy