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The Importance of Laughter and Entertainment for the Elderly

Alzheimer’s Care Medfield MA

Alzheimer's Care

Alzheimer’s Care

Aging comes with a wide range of ups and downs. For some seniors, getting older is a representation of their golden years, but for some, these years are filled with unexplained symptoms, aches and pains and numerous visits to the doctor that can make life boring and lonely. While there is a host of medical options for elder care, one of the best ways a family caregiver can help their aging parents feel better is simply by providing laughter. For many seniors who receive in-home care, their daily life consists of watching television every day. While routine activities can be comforting, it can also lead to depression and a sedentary lifestyle. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you find more ways to add entertainment and laughter into the life of aging parents.

Community Participation

Participating in community activities with your aging parent is a great form of elder care and it is an ideal way to introduce seniors to new activities. Many cities have a senior center that provides daily and/or weekly activities, such as shopping trips, bingo, volunteer opportunities and social gatherings, such as luncheons. Getting out and meeting new people allows seniors to continue learning new things as well as socializing with others who have similar likes and dislikes.

Funny Entertainment

The saying “laughter is the best the medicine” should be put into play for the elderly as well. As a family caregiver, consider going to a comedy club with your elderly parent. This will give you both an opportunity to get out, participate in something together and enjoy a few laughs at the same time. If your parent is unable to leave the home, consider renting a few DVDs of stand-up comics and suggest the home care provider and your parent enjoy an in-home comedy night. Other ways to introduce laughter into a senior’s life may include reading the comics together or watching funny videos on a computer.

In-home Elder Care Entertainment Ideas

If your parent is home bound, there are still several ways to provide entertainment and laughter. Some of the things a family caregiver and/or a home care provider can do with or for seniors for entertainment, include:

  • Documenting their life-it is common for seniors to want to talk about their life, so consider using a video camera or a voice recorder to “interview” them. It will not only allow them an opportunity to talk about their life, but it is also a keepsake that can be handed down for generations to come.
  • Give them a tablet-a tablet, such as a Kindle, is an ideal way to give your parent access to thousands of books, articles, magazines and movies. A basic tablet is lightweight and easy to read. Spend a few hours explaining how the device works, show the how to access favorite genres and teach them how to find online games that they can play alone or with their home care provider.
  • Games-learn a new board game or card game. Learning new things will help to provide entertainment as well as help to keep seniors alert. Other ways to help keep them alert and exercise their brain is with crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles and word search games.

As a family caregiver, it can sometimes be overwhelming when caring for your aging parents, but it is important to keep them healthy and happy. If you work, go to school, live out of town and/or have a family, it can be even more difficult trying to find time to spend with senior parents. Find out what resources are available for your parent by contacting local senior centers or talk with the in-home care provider for suggestions on how to provide entertainment and laughter for your parent.

For more information about how Care Resolutions can help your aging parents remain in their own homes, call 508-359-4675

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Erica Tomasello

Erica Tomasello, has a background in Education and Clinical Psychology. She has worked with her mother for years, developing Care Resolutions into a premiere agency. Erica, and in turn, the agency's staff, continue to expand their knowledge with the ever growing development of understanding the aging process and geriatric disease. We are a member with Home Care Association of America and NFIB. We are also affiliated with NASW, National Association of Professional and Executive Women, Alzheimer's Partnership, Alzheimer's Association of Mass, MA Council for Home Care Aides.