Patch Adams was onto something!
Research has already found that laughter could lower your blood pressure and increase your tolerance of pain, but a new study has found it has benefits for dementia patients as well.
Australian researchers found humor reduced agitated behavior like wandering, screaming, aggression, and repetitive behavior in dementia patients by 20%!
200 out of 400 nursing home residents that received amusing visits from a "humor therapist" and cared for by staff under the supervision of a "laughter boss" were found to be less agitated then those under straight-laced care.
Lead researcher Dr. Lee-Fay Low says care facilities often forget to maintain patients emotional needs, explaining:
"There's evidence to show that people with dementia still experience humour and to the same amount of enjoyment as people without dementia but they find different things funny. I think in some facilities they are very task focused and think, 'we have to do baths, showers, food and cleaning' and because they are so busy looking after the clinical and physical needs of the residents they sometimes forget to look after the emotional needs so the lightheartedness (in the study) is part of that."
We totally agree and think this is a no brainer. A life without laughter isn't much of a life at all!
[Image via WENN.]