Apr 13, 2017 by Leslie Knopp
Laughing is an easy way for seniors to improve their overall well-being. Older adults who often feel sad or stressed out can instantly boost their mood through laughter. Therefore, home care providers encourage senior citizens to incorporate as much laughter into their lives as possible. Here are just several of the many health benefits of laughter:
Reduced Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Older adults who suffer from high blood pressure and cholesterol can lower both by simply laughing. Laughing increases blood oxygenation and improves circulation which can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
Financial challenges, illnesses, and other hardships can cause senior citizens to experience high levels of stress. Home care aides explain that this stress can be reduced with laughter because it has been proven to lower cortisol which is known as the “stress hormone.”
Since laughter reduces stress levels, it can positively affect the amount of stress the brain experiences, thereby improving memory. When the brain is not exposed to a great deal of stress, it can better heal itself and make room for memories.
Hormones that are released by the brain when the body is under stress are known as endorphins. They are known as “feel good chemicals” and full of analgesic and relaxing properties. Home care professionals note that seniors who laugh regularly can release endorphins and help ease any chronic pain they may be experiencing.
Laughter can also give senior citizens the opportunity to exercise a variety of muscle groups in their body. When they engage in laughter, they use certain muscles to create that movement and engage their abdominal muscles and diaphragm.
To increase the amount seniors laugh, they should surround themselves with positive people, think about funny memories, watch television shows and movies that make them smile, and read comics or humorous articles on social media or the newspaper.