Health Benefits of Humor for Age-Related Memory Loss

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Health Benefits of Humor for Age-Related Memory Loss

According to statistics, there are at least five million people who are currently living with age-related memory loss. These people are in need of senior living help services and doctors handling these cases need to be cautious about unproven treatments that slow aging of the brain. This is because these treatments could end up causing adverse effects in adults living with dementia.

If you have a patient or loved one who is suffering from dementia and other memory loss problems as a result of age, whether they are currently living in one of the specialized memory care facilities or at home, find out how you can best help him or her.

Doctors have found that lifestyle choices may protect persons with mild forms of age-related memory loss. Therefore, the chosen lifestyle can help these adults from future decline. A study by scientists at Loma Linda University found out that showing seniors a 20-minute funny video decreases the stress hormone in their blood. In addition, laughter helped these people to remember and even learn new information.

So, what are the health benefits of humor for age-related memory loss? In this article, we analyze how laughter can help seniors fight age-related memory loss.

Why Good Laughter Helps Seniors

When a person laughs, it leads to the release of dopamine and endorphins in the brain. These are chemicals that induce pleasurable feelings. According to the previously referenced Loma Linda University study, humor and laughter play a role in the release of Cortisol that is released when a person has stress.  Stress leads to a negative effect on adult learning and memory. Seniors are especially susceptible to the factors that cause memory loss.

To understand the effect of humor on the stress hormone, scientists studied a group of 20 healthy older adults that were split into two groups. One group was shown hilarious videos and a test on memory was conducted before and after the video. The test was done on the level of Cortisol, the stress hormone.

The group that watched the video indicated a substantial drop in Cortisol levels. The scientists reported more improved memory recall and learning ability in the group that watched hilarious videos. They came to the conclusion that laughter is a good medicine that fights memory loss in seniors. It is, in fact, a memory enhancer that adds to the quality of life for senior citizens and even triggers brain waves similar to meditation, allowing seniors to focus and think more clearly.

As a person ages, there is an increased likelihood of developing memory loss. It is important that any age-related memory change is taken seriously at its early stages. The risk factors that trigger memory loss include seniors above 65, certain illnesses and conditions that lead to increased risks of dementia, such as anemia, and even a family history.

In conclusion, caregivers should be encouraged to incorporate funny videos as they treat those who are suffering from age-associated memory impairment, mild cognitive impairment, or even dementia. Medical practitioners need to encourage positive, enjoyable and beneficial humor therapy when dealing with seniors citizens.

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