4 Health-Boosting Benefits of Laughter for Seniors

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Reasons Laughter Is Healthy for Your Elderly Loved One in Philadelphia, PA

The simple act of laughing can have a significant impact on a senior’s overall wellbeing. After learning about the various benefits that can be gained from laughter, many family caregivers will be jumping at the chance to create some humorous moments with their elderly loved ones. Here are four reasons to make your loved one laugh. 

1. Boosts Cardiovascular Health

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in the body, which can lower blood pressure. It also speeds up the heart rate and respiration, which increases the flow of oxygenated blood. A hearty laugh also provides many of the same benefits as a workout by utilizing muscles in the face, abdomen, diaphragm, back, and legs. 

Exercising various muscles is a great way to stay healthy in the golden years. However, some seniors may need assistance with physical activity. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Supports a Healthy Immune System

Laughter can help the body fight common infections and even tumors. It increases the levels of immunoglobulin in saliva, which makes it easier to fight off respiratory infections. It can also increase the response of interferon gamma and T-cells, which are responsible for killing tumor and disease cells. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Philadelphia, PA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

3. Promotes Cognitive Health

A study at Johns Hopkins University showed laughter and humor boosted both memory and learning abilities. Individuals who laughed frequently performed better on tests and were more focused and alert. This may be due in part to the increased blood flow to the brain.

Humor requires the use of the entire brain. When your loved one hears a joke, the cerebral cortex processes the information in the following ways: 

  • The left hemisphere deciphers the structure and words of the joke
  • The right hemisphere makes the connections and “gets” the joke
  • The occipital lobe creates a series of mental images to bring the joke to life
  • The limbic system stimulates emotions like happiness
  • The motor neurons in the brain lead to smiling and laughter

4. Leads to Better Emotional Wellbeing

Depression is a common emotional health issue among seniors. When your loved one laughs, he or she automatically forgets to feel anxious, sad, or angry, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Laughter helps your loved one relax so he or she can mentally recharge. It also gives your loved one the chance to get some psychological distance from his or her problems, gain perspective, and feel less overwhelmed. 

Laughter is beneficial for caregivers as well, and family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Philadelphia, PA, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663.

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