La Trobe University researchers, including Ros Ben-Moshe (laughter yoga leader, academic and author of Laughing at Cancer: how to heal with love laughter and mindfulness), have proven that laughter is truly good medicine for older Australians.
Ros delivered laughter yoga sessions over 6-weeks to 28 participants in 3 residential aged care homes and tailored the sessions to their ability, bearing in mind that they ranged in age from 61 to 96 and 13 of the participants had a diagnosis of dementia.
Blood pressure and pulse were measured before and after each session by another research team member (a nurse researcher) and participants were asked to rate their mood.
Benefits of Laughter Yoga in Aged Care Settings
This Australian research found laughter yoga:
- improved happiness and positive mood
- reduced depression, anxiety and stress
- helped lower blood pressure
- provided gentle fun exercise
- enhanced social activity.
The upshot of the research findings’ recommendations was that laughter yoga should be considered by management and activities staff in residential aged care homes in their regular activity programing, instilling a sense of fun and happiness in aged care environments from which both workers and residents could benefit.
Full details of the research were published in the Australasian Journal of Ageing in 2017.