Laughter really is the best medicine! It helps your blood vessels to relax and expand which increases blood flow to your brain and heart resulting in stress relief and improvements to your immune system, a reduction in aches, pains and reduced blood sugar levels! Science aside, laughter establishes/ restores a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between people. The SMILE study, conducted by UNSW found that bringing a smile to the face of an elderly person through playful interactions can significantly reduce agitation in nursing home residents. Trialling imaginative ways of engaging with my residents is one of the favourite parts of my job. With the lead up to Christmas am employing props: Elf on the Shelf and fun photo booth props to take portraits of my residents. The responses have been positive and varied, from making people laugh and feel at ease, to residents playing puppet with the elf. A very positive experience for all!