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When laughter is the best medicine

July 21, 2015
by Megan Combs, Associate Editor
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Actress Phyllis Diller once said, "A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." And hospitals across the nation are starting to catch on to what long-term care has known for years: Laughter is the best medicine.

Sibley Memorial Hospital opened its Laugh Cafe in August 2012. It's a room where seniors can go to tell jokes and laugh. According to the Washington Post, the cost of admission is a one-time $40 fee and then one joke told aloud each time a person attends. Sessions are held monthly and last for one hour.

"I had heard about the health benefits of laughter yoga so I informally surveyed my favorite jokester members," Sibley Senior Association Director Marti Bailey told The Huffington Post. "The overwhelming reaction was that they wanted a reason to laugh and rejected laughter simply for laughter’s sake."

Studies have shown that keeping residents active and social can stave off depression and may even delay dementia, which is why senior living facilities offer so many amenities from bingo, to hiking and art therapy

What activities do your seniors love?

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