At Southgate at Shrewsbury retirement community, our comfortable, welcoming and caring environment serves to foster strong relationships and friendships among residents. Moreover, our enjoyable leisure activities, entertaining social events and relaxed day-to-day atmosphere all serve to further deepen such relationships.
Not surprisingly, it is precisely those circumstances—when you’re surrounded not just by neighbors but by friends and “extended family”—that are most readily characterized by humor,
congeniality and laughter.
And that’s a great thing, considering that there’s truth to the age-old expression, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
Specifically, recent scientific studies are demonstrating that humor does indeed contribute to better overall heath—and seniors are as susceptible to its beneficial effects as any other age group.
This blog discusses some of the ways in which Southgate at Shrewsbury retirement community helps stimulate feelings of good will. First, however, let’s take a quick look at recent scientific findings in the study of laughter.
Laugh, and the World Laughs with You
Those immortal words of 19th-century poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox speak eloquently to the contagious nature of laughter. Yet, interestingly enough, science is demonstrating that even simulated laughter can deliver health benefits—probably because it often leads to genuine light-heartedness.
According to a study led by Georgia State University in 2016, older adults residing in four senior-living facilities participated in a moderate-intensity group-exercise program that incorporated playful simulated laughter into a strength, balance and flexibility workout. (As background, simulated laughter techniques are based on historical data that suggests the body cannot distinguish between genuine laughter—which might result from humor—and laughter that is self-initiated as bodily exercise.)
The result? Significant improvements among participants in mental health, aerobic endurance and outcome expectations for exercise (e.g., perceived benefits of exercise participation). Perhaps most significantly, almost 90% of participants said that laughter helped make exercise more accessible and enhanced their motivation to participate in other exercise classes. (And, as we all know, anything that helps motivate people to stay active is a godsend!)
Many other studies likewise demonstrate the health benefits of laughter—both physical and mental—including:
- Boosting your immune system and thereby improving your resistance to disease
- Strengthening and relaxing your muscles
- Relieving physical tension, anxiety and stress
- Temporarily relieving pain
- Triggering the release of endorphins (the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals)
- Improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow, which can help protect against cardiovascular problems
- Burning calories (yup! One study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories)
- Diffusing anger
- Improving your mood
- Strengthening your resilience
Putting a Smile on Your Face
Here at Southgate at Shrewsbury, you’ll find a retirement lifestyle highly amenable to heightened spirits and good cheer. We recognize the critical importance of strong relationships among residents and make every effort to promote bonding through numerous ways:
- Our 200-seat theater with balcony. This is a great onsite venue for enjoying performances of all kinds—and you’ll find your share of light-hearted, “feel-good” productions and screenings
- Cozy library with fireplace. Enjoy a humorous novel or story from our well-stocked shelves … or simply share some corny jokes with your fellow residents
- Relaxing billiard and card room. Wherever you find friendly competitive activities, you’re also sure to find good-natured ribbing and teasing
- Four-lane candlepin bowling alley, indoor swimming pool and health club & spa. Participation in sports is one of the most popular ways to bond with others
- Woodworking shop and arts & crafts studio. Diligence and meticulousness are all well and good when working with your hands, but—after all—there’s no reason to take a hobby too seriously! Southgate at Shrewsbury’s studios provide residents with a great outlet for discovering a passion—and a wonderful opportunity for expressing their “silly side” (e.g., painting the most ridiculous-looking bulldog imaginable)
- Fine dining and casual restaurants. Is there a more pleasant experience than spending a relaxing evening filled with great food and great conversation?
- Ice-cream parlor. Okay, be serious (but just for a second): How can anyone indulge in their favorite flavor of ice-cream and NOT enjoy themselves? Why, it’s like being 12 years old all over again!
- Solarium. Sun and fun? Fun in the sun? Sunny fun? No matter how you say it, basking in nature’s glorious light never fails to brighten your mood.
Here’s the bottom line: Humor, laughter and congeniality refresh the soul and do wonders for your health. So come to Southgate at Shrewsbury, enjoy spending time with some new friends… and feel your spirits soar.