Humour effective in managing dementia

Humour therapy is as effective as widely used antipsychotic drugs in managing agitation in patients with dementia – and avoids serious drug side effects.

The first major study of the impact of humour therapy on mood, agitation, behavioural disturbances and social engagement in dementia patients found both short term and persisting decrease in agitation.

The SMILE study across 36 Australian residential aged care facilities involved the recruitment and training of a staff member to act as a “LaughterBoss” who worked with a humour practitioner with comedic and improvisation skills – not unlike “Clown Doctors” used in hospitals to aid recovery and lift mood in children.

Read more at UNSW