They say that ‘everyone smiles in the same language’. Charlie Chaplin wrote a song about it and little orphan Annie sang that ‘you’re never fully dressed’ without one – and now an amazing initiative by the Sydney Multisite Intervention for LaughterBosses and ElderClowns (SMILE – did they make that up?) has launched the world’s first study and research project examining the effects of humour therapy for people with dementia.
The primary goal of the SMILE study was to examine the effects of humour therapy on mood, social engagement and agitation.
Accompanying the study is a 40 minute documentary which follows comedian Jean-Paul Bell as he delivers humour intervention to residents in a variety of aged care facilities.
From the results of this study the Arts Health Institute is now rolling out ‘Play-Up’ a program that continues the work of SMILE and aims to break the communication barrier between dementia suffers, aged care staff and clients through the simple act of laughter and playful behaviour.
Play-Up involves regular visits by a Play Up Performer who has special skills in working in aged care, and works with clients in mentoring the techniques of creative engagement.
Jean-Paul says, “Play Up is ideal in stimulating and engaging particularly high care clients by reinforcing positive memories and connections in a playful manner. The approach can often kick-start their oral skills again and encourage them to contribute and show their own personal humour.
He added, “This has the potential to bring out the best in everyone within the facility.”
This amazing program is now available to aged care facilities around the country.
aged care advice –
need help with aged care? don’t know where to start?
ipac financial care is the aged care division within ipac and works with your adviser to structure your aged care finances and options so that you maximise entitlements and minimise tax implications.
Our job is to help you understand how the aged care decisions you make can affect you or your relative’s financial position and how long the money will last. We can also take care of the paperwork!
To find out more about the advice they provide and access a wide range of resources that can help you visit their website www.ipacagedcare.com.au
Alternatively contact your financial adviser or call 1800 626 881.
The University of NSW have produced a short film to explain the impact of humour therapy on people with dementia who live in residential care – to view click here