Study Finds Frequent Laughter Helpful In Reducing Symptoms of Dementia

According to a recent study, laughter could be the best medicine when it comes to treating elderly dementia patients. Four hundred residents from 36 nursing homes took part in the Australia based study to see if humour had an effect on people with dementia in terms of their mood, agitation levels, behavior and social engagement.

The researchers worked with a "humour therapist" who normally works as a "clown doctor" cheering up patients in children's hospitals. For the nursing home residents, the therapist replaced his crazy clown doctor outfit with one of an elevator attendant to become a "humour valet." Carers were also encouraged to incorporate humour into their daily routines to maintain the cheery atmosphere.

After the study, lead researcher Dr Lee-Fay Low said residents who received humour therapy showed a 20 percent reduction in agitated behaviour such as aggression, wandering, screaming and repetitive behavior. Overall, the nursing home residents with dementia who were treated to amusing visits were found to be less agitated than those receiving more straight-laced care. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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