“That’s the best idea yet!” I congratulated my cousin Liane.
“I KNOW!” She answered with a smile I could hear. “Who can resist laughing babies?”
“Not even me,” I LOL-ed.
Fifty-year-old Liane, a former nurse, care partners with her 80-year-old friend Florence who was recently diagnosed with dementia. Liane helped Florence move into an assisted living facility across from a long-term care home where the pair now volunteer for an hour or two each afternoon.
“Florence loves to be active. And she’s very social. So she and I were serving tea – having tea is one of the highlights of the day, you know.”
“I know,” I said. “There’s not much to do in those places. Everyone’s bored to tears.”
“Yeah,” she agreed. “Anyway, I had just given a cup of tea to one particular lady who always seems to be unhappy. She’s kind of grouchy and mean. Never smiles. Always complains.”
I’d probably be unhappy too, I reflected to myself. We need to do a better job of caring for the elderly, especially those with dementia. They deserve better than what they’re getting.
“All of all of a sudden I got this brain wave,” Liane continued. “I fished my iPad out of my bag, got on to YouTube, and found a video of laughing babies. Well. You can’t imagine the reaction of that cranky old lady. Within seconds she was smiling and laughing and pointing at the babies. It was great.”
“That’s BRILLIANT Liane. I wish I’d thought of it.”
“The next day, I put laughing babies on the big screen they have in the common room. All the ladies and even the few men that were there were over the moon. ‘Isn’t she cute?’ One said. ‘Look at that one,’ another said. They were smiling and cooing and oohing and ahhhing. Laughing babies. Best cure ever. Who knew?”
My Alzheimer’s Story prescribes joyful activities to create happiness in the lives of people with dementia.
Rx Laughing Babies
Better than any pill ever invented for immediate relief of boredom, depression, anger, anxiety, aggression, aches, pains, and overall malaise associated with life, aging, dementia, and most everything that might ail you or your loved ones.
Enjoy five minutes of laughing babies anytime day or night; before, after or with meals.
Mood improvement, better attitude, smiles, laughter, joy, happiness, connection, engagement, love.
Impossible to overdose. No known negative side effects. No contraindications. Efficient; effective; costs virtually nothing.
Complementary therapies include:
Playful puppies, cats and kittens, jumping kids (too cute for words), and ballet dancing children.
I have often played these videos of laughing babies and playful kittens and puppies and the residents with dementia absolutely love them. Great opportunity to have conversation and reminisce after playing these videos.
Yay! And thanks for bringing people joy <3
I like this idea very much. Another idea is a DVD of beautiful scenes of nature from various seasons backed with appropriate music. Gregory loved to watch it.
Yep, a hundred times better than Dr. Phil, football, chat shows, blah blah blah…