Clowns entertain aged care residents
Two staff members at a Woy Woy care facility have dressed as clowns to entertain the residents, embracing the notion that laughter is the best medicine.
BlueWave Living marketing manager Ms Kylie Scott said recreational activity officers Ms Wendy Bowen and Ms Merrilyn Tanswell at BlueWave were inspired by the Clown Doctors who visited patients in hospitals around NSW.
"A good sense of humour may not cure all ailments, but there is mounting evidence around the benefits of laughter," Ms Scott said.
"Along with enhancing your mental state, laughter induces physical changes in your body and has been clinically proven to strengthen your immune system, activate and relieve your stress response and stimulate many organs.
"The Clown Doctors are well known for their dedication to bringing laughter into the world of those who need it most," Ms Scott said.
"Merrilyn was lucky enough to undertake a workshop with the Clown Doctors called Laughter Boss.
"The purpose of the training is to bring humour into the daily care of our elderly residents.
"As a result, Merrilyn took on the role of Nurse Spot.
"Nurse Spot visits our residents to share quality time, enjoy a laugh or simply hold their hand.
"Merrilyn has many other characters including Beach Babe, Fairy Godmother, Clever Heather and the Chook Whisperer.
"Each character has their own unique sense of humour, all of which are designed to bring enjoyment and fun into BlueWave Living.
"Wendy delivers laughter to our residents by dressing up as a clown and sharing jokes.
"You will often hear her coming down the halls with a ring of a bell or a squeak of the horn.
"We've also had sightings of her riding a one wheeled bike and trying to join in on a game of bowls," Ms Scott said.
She said that, while the act might seem silly to some, it was having a positive effect on residents.
"Through these activities, we not only improve our residents' lives, but also the morale, engagement and happiness of our staff.
"You can honestly see the room come alive when we receive a visit from our funny friends.
"It changes the dynamics and offers a chance to let your guard down and just live in the moment."
Ms Bowen said she would happily continue clowning around if it meant residents continued to feel engaged and joyful.
"I love bringing joy and laughter to the residents.
"It makes my day to see them smile and watch their eyes light up when they see me all dressed up in the clown costume.
"It's a wonderful chance to really engage, one on one, with our dementia residents and I can see they are uplifted after my visit," Ms Bowen said.
Media release, 17 Feb 2020
Kylie Scott, BlueWave Living