6 Ideas for How to Spark a Laugh

In need of a good laugh? Try starting one. Laughter is infectious. Many people with mid to late Alzheimer's are still capable of getting a joke or seeing the absurdity in a situation. Others laugh almost reflexively, mirroring the emotion of those around them.

Some smile-makers to try:

1. Watch a slapstick comedy, such as a Charlie Chaplin movie, that involves more physical humor than dialogue.

2. Read aloud from a bad-joke book.

3. Watch a goofy TV program, like America's Funniest Home Videos.

4. Search YouTube for funny videos of dogs and children. (Search dogs on skateboards or babies laughing).

5. Recollect some absurd story from your family's past: silly things a child once said, crazy mistakes Grandpa made, the time you got lost at Disney World and got rescued by Goofy.

6. Put out birdseed and watch birds and squirrels go at it. Feeding ducks at a pond or watching animals in a petting zoo or pet store are other reliable smile-makers.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio

about 4 years, said...

I love the ideas in this. The Chaplin movie ideas are good, because the humor is movement based, but also, the movement is not as fast as in some of the newer movies/shows.

over 4 years, said...

Reinforcing some of the things I do.

over 5 years, said...

my loved on always laughs when my grandchildren come over. They are young and still treat her as though she is the same great grandmother they know.They dance ,sing, and draw pictures to put on her walls.

almost 6 years, said...

None of these require intensive sustained conversation but still can bring joy. I find that lots of nonverbal body language is possible with these activities and as a communication device as well.

over 6 years, said...

Having non-verbal ways of lightening people's moods. The birds and squirrels, ducks, etc. was especially good. Especially the suggestion to find videos on the internet of laughing babies! Who can frown watching and listening to a laughing baby? I have an old audio tape I made in the 1980's that served as a letter to my brother who was away, and it still brings smiles to my parents and my brother's faces. So the old silly family stories is also good! Thank you!