Monday, October 16, 2017

Laughter Therapy in Nursing Homes (Research, Dementia Video 5:42)

Look at his face. Think about his lack of agitation, the light of wellness he reflects beyond his actual physical expression. You are looking inside. This could be someone you know with dementia, someone who has been engaged in a special way that opened an inner door of enlightenment. This could be someone experiencing joy in a nursing home. Maybe that wonderful stimulation came from laughter therapy, a series of techniques designed to produce laughter, reduce anxiety, and improve well-being.

In nursing homes where many residents ache with loneliness and feelings of depression, laughter can be a happy solution. This was demonstrated in a laughter therapy research study that included 32 nursing home residents in the control group and 33 nursing home residents from another nursing home. For two days per week (21 sessions in total), residents of the experimental group received laughter therapy. Total quality of life scores of residents in the experimental group significantly increased in comparison to the pretest. Nursing homes are encouraged to integrate laughter therapy into healthcare and as a routine nursing intervention.

Residents with dementia can benefit greatly from laughter therapy. This video features the Smile Study with Dr. Lee-Fay Low. He reminds us that behind the dementia is a real person.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.


  1. I love this idea and it's so good to see your name again and reconnect Shari (Zissie) Gitel

    1. Hope all is well with you, Shari. Happy endings!