Laughter in dementia patients

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In a biomedcentral.com research paper article, called Laughter and humor as complementary and alternative medicines to dementia patients , laughter in dementia patients is discussed in very well researched manner:

Laughter in dementia patients
… A positive emotion, together with laughter, may enable dementia patients to cope with their illness better, improve immune function, increase pain tolerance, and decrease the stress response. When a positive attitude is shared by patients and staff, it can have a positive effect on the emotional-affective and cognitive functioning of the patients [42,43]…

It is true that laughter and smiling decrease over time in most dementia patients, but it is important to note that not all forms of laughter and smiling are equally reduced. The ability to laugh for social communication is readily lost by dementia patients at the onset of their illness, concomitant with the loss of a social life and their ability to process information, but laughter in response to the release of tension is preserved until the advanced stages of the disease. When dementia patients are released from either physical or mental strain, they always smile. Laughter caused by feelings of disharmony is not usually preserved in dementia patients because of impaired cognitive functioning and because these patients are no longer able to understand the meaning of complicated situations, which means they often cannot understand the punch lines of jokes or appreciate humor.

As discussed above, laughter associated with pleasant feelings can be further subdivided into four types, fulfillment of instinctive needs, fulfillment of expectations, a feeling of superiority, and recognition of mix-ups. Most laughter associated with pleasant feelings is preserved in dementia patients, with observations indicating that these patients laugh and smile when they are exposed to pleasant stimuli. They smile when they are well fed and when they have had a good sleep. They also smile and laugh when they have attained self-set goals. Laughter associated with feelings of superiority is clearly preserved in most dementia patients; they become happy and pleasant when their superiority is recognized. Conversely, when these patients feel humiliated, they become angry and insulted.

Thus, the basic form of laughter is preserved in dementia patients, but the social form of laughter is sometimes lost in the advanced stages of the disease. It is important to ensure that dementia patients are kept in a safe and relaxed environment (and not in alarmed and tensioned), which will make it more likely that these patients will be able to laugh and smile.

Joke Of The Day For Dementia Patient Caregivers

A new study says low levels of testosterone in older men may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Ironically, in younger men high levels of testosterone can also render the brain completely useless.

Joke quoted from www.caring.com
Photo courtesy of www.santabarbarabrainfitness.com

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