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Why Should the Elderly Smile and Laugh More Often?

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on

Smiling and laughing have proven to be two of the most natural medicines in the world. Though some seniors may find it difficult to focus on positivity if they are managing serious health conditions or living on fixed incomes, finding time for a sincere smile or a good laugh each day can work wonders for their overall health. Chandler 24-hour care experts discuss some of the reasons seniors should make room for more smiles and laughter in their lives.

Boost Physical Health

Smiling relaxes the entire body, which can lower a senior’s blood pressure. People who laugh and smile often have lower levels of stress hormones and increased immune cell levels. Smiles and laughter also trigger the release of pain-relieving endorphins, and they can even promote heart health by increasing blood vessel function and blood flow.

Enhance Mental and Emotional Health

The same endorphins that help seniors relieve pain also make them feel happy. When seniors laugh or smile, they naturally feel more optimistic and resilient, which gives them the strength to better manage stressful situations. A study by the British Dental Health Foundation found smiles naturally increased heart and brain activity similar to receiving money or chocolate. The study showed one smile had the same stimulating effect as eating 2,000 chocolate bars.

Increase Socialization

Laughter and smiling are highly contagious. People are naturally drawn to others who laugh or smile, which creates the opportunity for new friendships and strengthened bonds in existing relationships. Smiles and laughter also have the power to diffuse conflict and tense situations.

How to Create Opportunities for More Smiles

There are a number of easy and inexpensive ways for your loved one to incorporate more laughter and smiles into his or her daily life. For instance, he or she can:

  • Play a game with the grandchildren
  • Check out a book from the library’s humor section
  • Play with a pet
  • Join the game night at the local church or senior center
  • Spend a day watching favorite comedy TV shows or movies
  • Spend time with naturally funny and playful people

If your loved one needs more smiles and laughter in his or her life, reach out to Chandler Home Care Assistance. In addition to making wonderful companions, our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with various tasks and help them lead more independent and happy lives. For more information on at-home care Chandler, AZ, seniors can count on, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 480.448.6215 to schedule a complimentary consultation.