Bland P. Laughter the best medicine for agitation in the elderly. Practitioner 2013; 257 (1766):7

Laughter the best medicine for agitation in the elderly

05 Dec 2013Pais-up subscribers

Humour therapy significantly reduces agitation in nursing home residents, an Australian cluster randomised trial has shown. Seventeen homes (189 residents) received the intervention and 18 homes (209 residents) received usual care. The residents had a mean age of 84. Around three quarters (77%) were female and 78% had a diagnosis of dementia. Residents with a fear of clowns were excluded from the study. One member of staff from each of the intervention homes was chosen to be the LaughterBoss: the modern-day equivalent of a court jester. LaughterBosses attended a one day training course, dressed distinctively and were given ‘permission to be silly.’ A professional performer the ElderClown visited the home on 9 to 12 occasions during the three-month intervention period. ElderClowns interact with residents on a personal level, telling jokes, singing songs and asking for advice.

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