Laughter is a natural and essential part of life. It happens spontaneously and unconsciously. Whether you’re howling with laughter or giggling quietly, laughter does you good!
Beyond the immediate pleasure it brings, laughter is a powerful force with lasting effects on our well-being. It offers a host of benefits that are worth exploring, especially for seniors.
Laughter doesn't just lift your spirits; it also triggers physical changes in your body. Scientifically proven to bolster your immune system, ease stress, and stimulate various organs, laughter is indeed a powerful antidote to life's challenges.
While a good sense of humor may not cure all ailments, there is mounting evidence supporting the many positive effects of laughter. The best part? It's infectious and completely free!
In long-term care facilities, seniors may lack the stimulation needed for a cheerful mindset. Establishing a culture of humor and laughter is beneficial for all, but it's essential to include a variety of amusing activities in your routine to cater to diverse tastes. Laughter is a universal language that can brighten everyone's day.
There are so many benefits of laughter! It is known to:
Utilize a wicker basket to gather humorous tidbits. Fill it with jokes, funny sayings on paper, masks, silly toys, clown noses, Groucho glasses, rubber noses, and noisemakers. Encourage residents, as well as their families and visitors, to reach into the Laughing Basket throughout the day, sharing a laugh and spreading joy.
Bring a smile to residents' faces by sharing jokes, tongue twisters, or investing in a joke book suitable for all occasions.
Strike a deal with staff to spontaneously dance whenever certain songs like "The Macarena" or "The Chicken Dance" play. Play these tunes several times a day when residents are present to spark impromptu dance sessions.
Host theme day parties where everyone dresses and acts according to the chosen theme, creating a lively atmosphere.
Related: Theme Day Activity Ideas
Songs for Seniors is a wonderful activity submitted by Joanne with lyrics to 80 songs for the elderly! You can find music to accompany the songs for a singalong on YouTube.
Encourage staff to juggle balls or don silly hats and noses to evoke laughter among residents.
Organize a group of residents, volunteers, and staff to craft humorous horoscope profiles tailored to individual residents. It's sure to bring smiles and laughter to their faces. e.g.
Romance is in the air today, just north of the staff room. Be warned that Scorpio singled you out for a cake-to-face altercation... Aries are gentle people prone to meddling in other people’s affairs. Heaven knows what will happen to you if you don't sing 'Three Times a Lady' at the next Residents Meeting. But don't despair, gossip has it that your cheating won't be discovered and your ex is planning a comeback.
Screen old cartoons or animated series known for their humor. Cartoons can evoke nostalgia and laughter.
Craft paper fortune tellers with hidden messages, a nostalgic game that many will remember from their childhood.
Related: How to Make a Paper Fortune Teller
Watching babies or children play can be heartwarming and bring joy and laughter to residents.
Host regular movie nights featuring classic comedies or lighthearted films. Popcorn and a cozy setting can make it a fun and communal experience.
Incorporating these activities into your regular program can foster a joyful and lively atmosphere, enhancing the overall quality of life for seniors in long-term care facilities. Laughter truly is the best medicine, and by promoting it, we can contribute to the well-being of our cherished senior residents.
We'd love to hear your feedback!
What activities do you find to work well to stimulate laughter?