Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Clown Doctors for Older Adults: Dementia Research, Video 1:58

It’s no joking matter that laughter has important therapeutic value that can improve quality of life. The best laughter is spontaneous. Not only can we create reasons to laugh ourselves, other people can trigger the laughter response from us. It just makes good sense that the benefits of laughter should be integrated into the prevention and treatment of illness.

How about older adult clown therapy performed by clown doctors? Limited research shows that practitoners are increasingly using clown doctors in geriatric settings, including with people who have dementia and their caregivers. Clown doctors can help dementia patients improve well being, promote social interaction with their environment, and reduce problematic behavior. Benefits for the nursing staff include reduced workloads and stress relief. The overall work atmosphere becomes more positive. Keep in mind, however, that there are people who are very fearful of clowns.

The video Volunteer Clowns Visit Hospital Patients shows adults enjoying visiting clowns in California hospital.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.


  1. As a fairly new hospice volunteer, I'm finding a lot of helpful information in your blog. Thanks for writing all this! Frankly, the clown doctors would scare the bejeebers out of me, but maybe it works for others.

  2. PJ, congratulations on becoming a hospice volunteer. It's all win-win! You can view my hospice volunteer video poem here:

    Wishing you the best,