How is Good Humor Linked to Good Health in Seniors?

Many seniors experience stress and sadness due to disease, loss, decline in mobility, financial struggles, and their own fears and worries. Even with support from family, home care aides, friends, and clergy, elderly adults may find it difficult to stay optimistic. Humor is an excellent way for seniors to cope with the challenges they face every day.

Home Care in Jenison MI: The Link Between Humor and Health

Home Care in Jenison MI: The Link Between Humor and Health

Family caregivers can make sure that their elderly loved ones are exposed to humor as often as possible. Whether it’s enjoying a joyful family event, a funny old movie with a home care companion, or reading a funny magazine article, there are plenty of ways to bring humor into a senior’s daily life. As long as the humor is positive and uplifting, instead of crude or demeaning to someone, there’s no limit to how much laughter an elderly adult can enjoy.

Enjoying a good laugh has a positive effect on a person’s mood, but surprisingly, it is also good for the body. Here are a few of the positive health benefits that researchers have linked to regular laughter:

Lower Stress Hormones.

When stressed, the brain triggers the release of certain hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. The hormones stimulate physical reactions in the body like a faster heartbeat and rapid breathing. Over time, too much stress leads to an increase in chronic illness. Laughter helps seniors manage stress better, lowering those levels.

Relaxes Muscles and Joints.

Hearty laughter burns calories and provides a full body release that can relax the muscles and joints. This can ease tension in the body and reduce ailments like headaches and cramps.

Increase Oxygen Intake.

With laughter, people tend to breathe in a lot more, which infuses the bloodstream with oxygen. Oxygen-rich blood stimulates organs like the lungs, heart, and stomach, making them more efficient.

Lower Blood Pressure.

High blood pressure is associated with high stress levels. Because laughter lowers stress hormones and increasing blood flow throughout the body, it has a positive effect on blood pressure.

Lifts Spirits.

When people find something funny, the brain releases endorphins, which is know as the “feel-good” hormone. Endorphins can help ease chronic pain and calms worries and frustrations. Those who enjoy laughter more often are less likely to develop depression.

Not only does humor and laughter provide numerous short-term health benefits, but it can have long-term emotional significance as well. Elderly adults can take on the challenges of their lives with a better outlook when they are supported by friends, family, home care assistants, and others. When laughter is a part of their everyday life, they’ll be better off physically and emotionally.

If you or someone you know needs help with home care in Jenison, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.




About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.