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Having a Groundhog Day?

In the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character ‘Phil’ is stuck in a time loop where he relives the same day over and over again. Having recently re-watched this movie, a curious thought occurred to me: how relatable this fictional phenomenon is to the daily life of someone with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In the later stages of the disease, these individuals experience each day like a blank canvas; each moment a different moment from the next. This bittersweet truth has opened up my eyes to the beauty of life’s candid moments. We live our lives rushing busily from one thing to the next, but as we move from childhood to adulthood, we seem to forget how to be silly, to ‘throw our inhibitions to the wind’ and just have fun.

‘Can you laugh without smiling?’

Seriously – have you tried? Just thinking of the idea makes the most serious of us begin to crack a smile. This question is on of the fundamental components of laughter therapy at One Kenton Place. Our version of laughter therapy incorporates various types of laughter and breathing exercises. With these exercises come funny, unexpected moments which we celebrate and reward. How much can we learn from these incredible individuals. They might not know you, but if you give them a smile, to them it is the same as if they have known you their while life. They have so much love to give, but it is up to us to protect and cherish it! Comedy has historically helped us thrive during the darkest times. That being so, incorporating humour into daily life has proven vital to our very survival.

You don’t need a superb short-term memory to enjoy slapstick comedy. Our room fills with contagious laughter when watching the ‘shtick’ Lucy and Ethel pull on I Love Lucy.

A good hearty laugh a day goes a long way.

Let’s all have a heart giggle, chuckle, yuk, chortle, or good-old-fashioned laugh today. Imagine what it could have done for Phil.

Danielle Gitnik

Program Director

One Kenton Place