Health Benefits of Laughter for Seniors

They say that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter has been scientifically proven to offer a number of restorative effects in our lives and today Freedom Home Care will celebrate all of its benefits on National Tell a Joke Day.

People have been sharing jokes since the 1900s – and perhaps even earlier in some Sumerian cultures. Historians have traced a 1000-year-old double entendre, found in the Codex Exoniensis, back to Britain.

What may have started out as innuendo, has grown in form and meaning. Today, jokes can be told in many different ways – from irony, sarcasm, and satire to pranks, wisecracks, and one-liners.  All of the which are performed with the same goal in mind to make people laugh.

But something as simple as laughter can be physically, mentally and socially beneficial to older loved ones, especially those who are at greater risk for depression, pain, and a weakened immune system.

Benefits of laughter:

Physical Benefits

Research shows that a good laugh can have positive effects on our physical health because it helps eliminate pain, strengthen the immune system, decrease stress hormones, relax muscles and lower the chance of heart disease.

Mental Benefits

Laughter is also mentally beneficial for seniors receiving personalized elder care because it helps decrease fear and anxiety, enhance mood, improve resilience and promote happiness.

Social Benefits

Let’s not forget about the social aspects of laughter. Laughter attracts us to others and in turn, attracts others to us. It also helps us resolve conflict, enhance teamwork and bond us together with others.

In honor of National Tell and Joke Day, Freedom Home Care came up with a few ideas to help you and your loved ones celebrate:

  • Try Hasyayoga or Laughter Yoga. This is an exercise that involves prolonged, voluntary laughter – and it’s easily something that anyone can participate in whether they’re receiving Chicago in-home care or not.  Some experts say laughter that happens intentionally offers the same physiological and psychological benefits of spontaneous laughter.
  • Share jokes with friends and family members.
  • Read a joke book.
  • Enroll in a comedy or improv class.
  • Play a prank on an unsuspecting friend.
  • Host a karaoke night.
  • Watch some of your favorite comedians on television or put on a few funny movies or shows.