Do Old People Like to Laugh?

I recently read an article called “Why the elderly have a sense of humour failure”.

The researchers said it was likely that age-related decline in short term memory, abstract reasoning and shifting between different trains of thought affects the ability to understand humor.

So although a these factors may effect the way someone responds to a joke, here are some things that I’ve found help elders to laugh:

When my mother was at a point where she could not effectively follow the nuances of a joke, it was clear that if laughter were to be a part of her life, we’d need to put some thought into it. First and foremost I observed the things that delighted her, held her attention and made her smile or laugh.

Visual humor: One day a friend of mine, out of the blue, got my mother’s attention. He poured a little water into his mouth, pulled on his earlobe while spitting  the water  out in a stream. OMG, my mother could not get enough of it!


Funny words: My elder friend who likes to be included in all conversations, will often laugh when she hears word groups that sound funny to her. One day I had said “It sounded like I cracked a tooth!”, and she got such a kick out of the way “cracked a tooth” sounded, She repeated it a few times the way someone would repeat a  funny punchline, so I rolled with it and laughed along with her. It became a contagious back and forth of chortling.

Corny jokes: Even if the elder doesn’t really “get” the joke, the way corny jokes are often delivered is enough of a cue to indicate that humor is involved, which can spur laughter.

Most of all, follow their lead. If something tickles grandma’s funny bone, and you don’t understand why, laugh with her. It’s the laughter that has healing powers, not the actual joke, so take advantage of laughter whenever you can!

A person’s sense of humor does shift as they get age, but that’s no reason to stop laughing!

To read more of the article, click here

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One Response to Do Old People Like to Laugh?

  1. Joe Crouch says:

    I’m an independent film director. My recent film “Assisted Fishing” is now available through Amazon and may be of interest to your readers.
    Assisted Fishing
    An immature goofball takes over operations at a run down Assisted Living home and offers to take the wacky residents fishing. On the boat, things go hilariously wrong and together they all learn the meaning of true friendship.

    The movie is a PG rated family comedy that is over-the-top silly but also very heartwarming.

    Movie reviewer Joe Holman says, “The film has the sensitivity not to denigrate or disrespect senior citizens while making sport of them. There is the prospect of a meaningful – and perhaps to some small degree, memorable – story that handles issues like love, friendship, and moral values very thoughtfully.
    By the end, we feel like we might just miss these characters.”

    Should this be of interest to you, I would gladly make myself available for any type of interview. A few of the actors have been outspoken about the project and would gladly contribute to any story.

    Some interview ideas:
    The struggle I faced as a filmmaker to balance the stereotypical senior humor while not being disrespectful.

    My own personal experiences of watching a loved one suffer through alzheimer’s and how that found its way into the movie.

    The senior issues that this movie touches on, including elder abuse, Alzheimer’s, poorly run facilities and how comedy is a good way to get a conversation started.

    Here’s actor Arlan Godthaab speaking about his role as Henry, an Alzheimer’s afflicted senior who has a major role in the story.

    Joe Crouch
    writer/director/producer of Assisted Fishing

    Assisted Fishing can be purchased from Amazon.

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