By Michelle Hertz, Activity Director
At The Peninsula our monthly activity calendar is developed to provide residents activities that are mentally stimulating, socially engaging and offer many benefits for their well-being.
One or more popular activities are always oriented to laughter. Did you know that laughter has some surprising health benefits? The old saying, ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ may have new credence when supported by medical research.
Laughter helps the pituitary gland release its own pain-suppressing opiates naturally.
In the book, “A Better Brain at Any Age: The Holistic Way to Improve your Memory, Reduce Stress, and Sharpen Your Wits” (Conari Press, 2009), author Sondra Kornbaltt offers laughter benefits. Studies indicate that laughter promotes relaxation. A good laugh can leave you feeling relaxed and happy. It can boost the immune system’s strength and lower blood pressure. Whether a chuckle or contagious giggle, laughing gives the diaphragm and abdominal, respirator, facial leg and back muscles a workout. Laughter can increase memory and learning. It enhances blood circulation and decreases one’s perception of pain as well.
Laughter also has social benefits. Sharing a laugh with neighbors and families can help promote bonding. It is known to reduce conflict and make one’s perspective more positive.
Each day at The Peninsula, we encourage residents to take advantage of the many activities that are available which brings them together with their neighbors in the community. We want them to be engaged and share in the positive feelings that are generated by our entertainers, staff and being with each other. We want them to laugh.
Whether laughing over a shared memory with a friend, watching a movie, or even forcing a laugh, we have it in our power to turn our mood around and become happier.
When you review a monthly activity program at any senior living community, it’s good to take note of the many activities which offer opportunities for a laugh. When you talk with your parents, try to put their day into perspective and think about what they may have done that gave them a good laugh or at least a chuckle.