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Laughter Is Still the Best Medicine

Getting older comes with its ups and downs. For some people, life after 65 represents the golden years, but for many, those years are filled with aches and pains, unexplained symptoms, and a plethora of doctor visits that can make life itself a real drag. While there are many options for senior care, one of the best ways to feel better is also the simplest: laughter.

  • As we age, we often lose touch with the people that enriched our lives the most when we were younger. Friends move away for retirement or have medical problems of their own that can make it harder to stay in touch. Just as friendships and community participation are important parts of growing up, they are also essential for us as we grow old.
  • Loss of a spouse or partner can be devastating in our later years because we’ve spent so much of our lives with that cherished other, and no one can replace the vacuum left in the wake of their death. It’s important to remember, though, that life does indeed go on, and if we want to live happy, healthy lives, we must find ways to reconnect with others.
  • Many retirement communities and assisted living facilities emphasize community participation because of its beneficial health effects, but getting involved can be hard at first. Try focusing on activities you’ve always enjoyed, and look for others with similar interests. You’re bound to meet someone who can make you smile.
  • Churches and community groups frequently offer activities designed for seniors that can help you make new friends while enjoying an afternoon or evening out. Most of these events are free or very inexpensive, and many times transportation will be provided.
  • If you tend to take things too seriously, you may need reminding that life isn’t supposed to be a constant struggle. It’s not too late to start letting the little things go, and look for opportunities to make light of silly situations.
  • Going out to a comedy club or watching stand-up comics on television are good ways to enjoy a good laugh, but it doesn’t have to end there. You can also read comics and online funny papers to get your daily dose of chuckles.
  • The people you have around you can easily influence your outlook and attitudes. If you have negative friends, family members, or caretakers, they could be harming your health. Look for ways to connect with people who have a slightly skewed – even ridiculous – take on things. They will bring you more joy and help you take things less seriously.

Many seniors feel they have little control over their circumstances, but simply changing your focus can bring welcome relief. Try reminding yourself every day of the importance of laughter, and you may even be able to affect change in those around you.

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