By Haley Burress United States
You know how you feel after a great laugh? The residents you serve don’t get the chance to laugh like that much in their senior years. Bring some playfulness and giggles to your community by giving yourself permission to be a bit silly!
When you laugh, you are doing more good for your body and brain than you may realize. Research has demonstrated laughter results in multiple physical and emotional benefits, available to anyone who makes time to laugh. A few of these benefits, as per The Mayo Clinic’s reporting, include:
Who knew a good laugh could make you feel great - emotionally and physically? The good news is that you can spread these benefits to your residents every time you make them chuckle.
Residents who live in senior living communities are under a lot of stress and are living with complex medical conditions that can be challenging or even scary. They live with loss and face multiple transitions on a monthly basis. Laughing can often feel pushed to the bottom of the priority list.
However, your unique relationship with the residents you serve can give you a better chance of getting a smile or laugh during your interactions. Even though you are under stress and pressure yourself at work, a little playfulness can go a long way to giving your residents (and yourself!) a bit of an emotional break.
Your role in your community is a professional one, certainly. Your responsibilities are important and your contributions to the quality of life for every resident is serious. However, you can walk the line between professional and playful in order to spread some cheer.
Maintain your professionalism while:
Consider being a bit more playful while:
You know your residents best, and you know your supervisor’s expectations. Consider where you can add some silliness without sacrificing your professional integrity. Remember the golden rule as well: never laugh at someone else’s expense.
Intentionally bring laughter into your community by trying a few new programs or interactions each month. See what works best for you, your team, and your residents and build your laughter program from there.
How do you add playfulness to your community, or make your residents laugh?
Let’s share ideas so we can spread the benefits of laughter!