Dementia Caregiver Tips – Laughter May Be a Better Medicine Than Traditional Treatments
- By: Scott Vanderhoef
- Alzheimer's Disease
Looking after a person you love with dementia is obviously nothing to laugh about. Nonetheless, research is frequently pointing to the benefits associated with humor, and adding it into dementia care could possibly be just what the doctor ordered to improve quality of life for your loved one.
As an example, an Australian research study just recently revealed that humor therapy is effective in reducing agitation in those diagnosed with dementia as thoroughly as antipsychotic medications, without any negative effects. Shared laughter connects us, and helps individuals diagnosed with cognitive difficulties to feel understood, secure, and at ease. As stated by Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, “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.”
Laughter also releases endorphins, which inhibit stress hormones, and may even improve blood pressure levels and minimize pain for senior loved ones – all of which will make it well worth adding to your dementia care regimen, either by enrolling in a laughter yoga class along with your loved one (which includes clapping, singing, silly poses, and of course, laughter) or simply implementing ideas including these at home:
- Incorporate lightheartedness and silliness spontaneously each day. Sing goofy songs, dance around the house, tell simple jokes, and create an atmosphere of happiness for the senior.
- Understand that what works today might not work tomorrow – and sometimes even an hour from now. Assess your loved one’s responses, and in case anything seems to boost anxiety, shelve the idea and try again in the future.
- Eliminate arguing and correcting from conversations with the older adult. A straightforward “yes” and redirection to another topic or activity goes a long way in preempting negativity.
- Emphasize to yourself that it is perfectly acceptable to be joyful. Laughter and dementia don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Let Heaven At Home Senior Care help enhance life for a loved one with dementia! Each one of our specialized dementia caregivers is professionally trained and knowledgeable in numerous creative, effective care techniques. Older adults achieve the additional benefit of enhanced socialization, as well as necessary rest from care duties for family members, making a partnership with a Heaven at Home care provider a win-win!
Contact us online or call us at 866-381-0500 to arrange an in-home assessment for more information, and to obtain some additional useful resources to help equip you to supply the most effective senior care Plano and the surrounding areas trust.