By Arlinda Babcock

For those of us who remember, “Laughter is the Best Medicine was our favorite page in Readers Digest for many years and enjoyed by our entire family. Do you ever think about laughter as medicine? Well according to many experts who study laughter, it can be good medicine. Just a few results of worldwide studies show that laughter:

• Can lower blood pressure
• Stimulates circulation and relaxes muscles
• Is good for your heart and cardiac health
• Triggers the release of endorphins which can improve your sense of happiness and well being
• Can assists in pain relief
• Helps fight infections by reducing stress hormones
• Can relieve depression and help erase loneliness

I always enjoy walking into a group of seniors that are laughing and enjoying themselves, especially in a senior living building. So many people think of assisted living or memory care as sad and dreary places, but in my experience as a professional in the senior living business, there are thousands of adult family homes, assisted living and memory care communities that are beautiful, lively, enriching and stimulating places to live.

When those residents are loading onto the community bus for their field trip of the day, I see lots of laughter and happy faces. Even better are those same faces when they return from a day of lunching out at a restaurant, a shopping excursion, a museum, the beach, or just a sightseeing trip to a spot of natural beauty. Laughter is the glue that keeps those happy people feeling young and vibrant. I walk by the movie theater of many assisted living communities and hear the residents laughing with delight and wish I could join them in their fun.

We all need more laughter in our lives, and aging doesn’t change that. Go make a senior laugh, you’ll feel better too!