WHY IT WORKS

(Stories & Science)

Laughter makes us feel better. We know this intuitively, but science is starting to reveal how it works, and why it is important for changing the way we interact with people with dementia:

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter activates and relieves your stress response and can stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation. (Mayo Clinic, April 2016)

Laughter releases endorphins, hormones that can promote social bonding and encourage communal activities. (Medical News Today, June 2017)

While changes in humor may be an early sign of dementia, humor also has strong healing power. For a first-person perspective on how comedy helped our founder Dani’s mother, see this story from AARP Bulletin. (AARP, June 2018).

Incorporating comedy into how we interact with people with dementia is not as implausible as it might seem. How we work with and treat people with dementia is changing all the time:

Some research groups are studying how the usage of nostalgic environments may soothe patients in long-term care facilities. The work of one popular method has “much in common with improv comedy, following the same rules: Never say no to the reality you’re given; say ‘Yes, and,’ building on whatever the other person said; don’t ask questions.” (The New Yorker, October 2018).

Humor care can be as effective as some drugs in managing agitation in dementia patients, according to Australian research. (HealthDay, 2011)

An interesting pilot study from Canada demonstrated that “elder clowning” can reduce moderate to severe behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (Toronto CityNews, March 2016)

WITH LAUGHTER ON CALL, SEEING IS BELIEVING

The laughter that bubbles up seemingly from their toes when a joke lands, the smiles on our clients’ faces, the twinkle in their eyes that lets you know they are still in there, it’s undeniable. Check out our Client Reviews to learn more.

GIVE THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER

How do I help a friend whose parent has Alzheimer’s?

You can give the gift of laughter. Even if you are not directly caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, chances are you know someone who is. Show your love and support by giving a Laughter On Call gift certificate. Your contribution can help a friend provide comedy care to a loved one, bringing smiles and relief to all involved. Contact us today to learn how to give the Gift of Laughter.