The Surprising Benefits of Laughter in Alzheimer’s Care

Two older women share a laugh together, highlighting the benefits of laughter in Alzheimer’s care.

As a family caregiver, you can find numerous benefits of laughter in Alzheimer’s care. Learn more here.

Alzheimer’s disease is definitely nothing to laugh about. However, studies are increasingly indicating the benefits of laughter in Alzheimer’s care, and adding humor may be just what the doctor ordered to improve quality of life for a senior you love.

For example, an Australian study revealed that humor therapy is as effective in decreasing agitation in individuals with dementia as antipsychotic medications, with no negative side effects. Sharing laughter connects us, and helps people with cognitive deficiencies to feel understood, safe, and at ease. Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, explains, “When anyone is sick or having a hard time, they still like to laugh. I spend a lot of time teaching people that feelings don’t go away, and it’s okay to get back to that zone.”

What Other Ways Can Laughter Help Someone With Alzheimer’s Disease?

Endorphins are released when we laugh, which reduces stress hormones, and may also improve blood pressure levels and reduce pain for older adults – all of which make it well worth adding to your Alzheimer’s care routine. This can be achieved by signing up for a laughter yoga class along with the senior (which involves singing, clapping, making silly poses, and of course, laughter) or trying ideas like these at home:

  • Acknowledge that it is perfectly appropriate to be happy. Laughter and Alzheimer’s disease do not have to be mutually exclusive.
  • Realize that what works today may not work tomorrow – or even an hour from now. Pay attention to the person’s reactions, and if anything appears to create anxiety, put the idea on hold and try again later.
  • Include lightheartedness and goofiness randomly throughout each day. Sing silly songs, dance around the home, tell easy-to-understand jokes, and create an environment of joy for the senior.
  • Never argue with or correct the senior. A simple “yes” and redirection to a different topic or activity goes a long way towards avoiding negativity.

Let Advanced Home Health Care help make life brighter for a loved one with Alzheimer’s! All of our skilled dementia caregivers are trained and experienced in a variety of creative, effective care techniques. Older adults gain the extra benefit of a boost in socialization, while family caregivers are able to take much-needed breaks from care, making a partnership with Advanced Home Health Care a win-win!

Contact us online or call us at 800.791.7785 to schedule your free in-home evaluation to learn more about our home care services in Fort Madison, Mt. Pleasant, Keokuk, and the surrounding areas, and to request additional resources to further help you provide the most effective care for someone you love.

The Care You Need. The Quality You Deserve.