#DementiaActionWeek – Thought for the Day – Joy
Laughter is the best medicine!
It is well known how laughter relieves stress, reduces anxiety and improves wellbeing. There’s a lot of laughter on a Filo day. Here are a few examples from our Hosts:
When the punch line to his often repeated joke started to elude one client, between us as a group we were able to complete it in some fashion, and the fact that no-one could ever remember the correct punchline always caused more amusement than the actual joke itself.
My group always laugh about one gentleman’s weekly reminders to buy chocolate biscuits and ginger biscuits and the feedback report he is apparently writing about me.
On a walk one day, one of the men in my group spontaneously started singing “Happy days are here again” as we walked along the village road. When I then asked him to be careful of a step in front of him, as he stepped down he came out with a quote from the TV series ‘Are You Being Served?’ which I probably shouldn’t quote, but along the lines of “Going down, next floor – …” which had us in stitches.
In one of my groups we played around with just a few scrabble letters and tried to come up with long words or phrases. We were so pleased to have come up with ‘We like Harry’ until we looked more closely and realised it said ‘We like hairy’! We were crying with laughter at our mistake.
Playing Jenga was a bit of an unplanned activity…my ladies didn’t enjoy the crafty thing I’d planned so I spotted my kids’ Jenga and hesitantly offered it…we had such a laugh that afternoon, lots of fun and slight hysteria each time the tower collapsed! They were so proud when they got this really tall tower! The laughter that afternoon was so heartening – we went from being a bit negative to really working together and enjoying the successes and noisy failures. It cemented the group bond as we enjoyed it so much together and laughed so hard. When we’ve shared the pictures since, I’ve been amazed by how seeing themselves clearly having fun has boosted their mood all over again.
At The Filo Project we see how, for people living with dementia, and often experiencing frustration, confusion, depression and anxiety, the opportunity to spend a relaxed day in a Filo group and find things to delight in as a group is hugely beneficial.