Jokes For Seniors: How humor improves health

Regardless of how young or old we really are, we all appreciate a good joke once in a while. There are great jokes for seniors, especially those that have to do with old age. Such jokes make them laugh. The funny jokes for seniors can be only a short single line, it can be a quote, a cartoon, or it can even be a story about things that the elderly people do. Today, you can find such punch lines just about everywhere.


It is one of the greatest and most important activities for humans and every culture and location has its own set of jokes for senior citizens that are easy to relate to. As we age, it seems that we tend to enjoy humor more than when we were younger even though some jokes may seem a bit hard to understand and follow. There are different cognitive mechanisms that affected the way older people understand jokes.

Seniors love funny long jokes, but they do not like the aggressive kind of humor as compared to the younger adults. There are even some seniors who tend to get sensitive if jokes that have to do with old age are told.

Most studies that have been conducted regarding how jokes and seniors relate are a bit cross-sectional, but it is obvious that there are some cohort effects which influence humor appreciation and production.

Humor occupies a great part of human activities. It is something that most of us seek so as to make life a bit easier, even with the many worries that are the reality of the world today. Humor has got a lot of functions in the life of humans and the functions tend to change as we grow older and older.

For the seniors, humor helps them to cope. We need to appreciate the fact that humor has to do with different aspects including biological, cognitive, emotional, developmental, and social. We can, therefore, consider it as a kind of trait and sometimes how we take it is very personal.

Processing jokes

The humor tends to emerge from the parts that are incompatible which do not seem to make any sense. However, when we are able to solve that incongruity, then we are able to appreciate the humor.

When researching about humor and how they are comprehended, it was seen that it was always important for one to find out why a joke is funny in the first place. The is the incongruity. If that is not discovered, then the joke will look plan or even confusing. Sometimes it may be necessary to explain a joke to some people if they are to get its full meaning.

A lot of studies have been conducted so as to compare how young people and the elderly differ in getting jokes. The way we interpret jokes is very different and what young people consider funny is not the same as the elderly.

One thing that has been witnessed with the elderly is that they do not appreciate nonverbal humor like the verbal counterpart. Nonverbal jokes need the translation of different images. These tasks tend to be a bit difficult for the seniors and it needs a bit more of the short-term memory as compared to verbal jokes that only deals with verbal codes.

One of the things that research has identified is the fact that humor is more appreciated as people age, but there is also a decline in the appreciation of jokes once we get at a certain age in our lives. Even though we appreciate the humor more, it becomes a bit harder to actually comprehend it.

Usually, we tend to like jokes that have got an intermediate difficulty level. When a joke is too hard or too easy, it doesn’t seem to be funny. When you make it too easy, the mind is not stimulated. When it is too hard, people may not see the humor in them and so they don’t sound funny since they require you to think long and hard.

As children develop, especially cognitive abilities, comprehension and appreciation of jokes tend to increase, but appreciation starts to decline at some level. This could be because the jokes are too easy or they may not be sophisticated as they would want them to be. This means that the child will comprehend the joke, but it will not be too funny.

As for seniors, there is usually a decline in their cognitive abilities which make it hard to understand the jokes as they grow older. This is also associated with more joke appreciation because the jokes tend to be a bit more challenging.

The humor can also be too much and therefore they may not understand and this can cause a great demand on their cognitive ability. This may make them not appreciate the jokes as much.

The other thing studies have shown is the fact that different humor types show different appreciation patterns when age is considered.

Humor functions


Jokes have got very many functions in our lives. One of the most significant ones is dealing with the adversities and stress in life. Seniors tend to use jokes as a way to cope with life than the younger generations. Seniors tend not to like appellative humor as compared to younger people.

These are jokes that are told so as to promote some level of social bonds and jokes that tend to help others be at ease without taking things too seriously. The trend could be because of weak social networks and the fact that older people don’t get involved in social activities as the younger people.

Younger people tend to be more aggressive and therefore prefer those kinds of jokes. It is common to hear young people using mockery, put-downs, and even teasing in their jokes. This is sometimes a way of enhancing social status. This does not seem to work too well with seniors and so should be avoided.

Aggressive old man jokes can be negative. Most people do not like to be disparaged. Most seniors don’t like people joking about their age, especially if the person delivering such a joke is a younger person. Older people don’t like jokes that target them and they don’t like being laughed at especially when their age vulnerabilities are the topic.

The studies show that older people seem to increase their sensitivity regarding the sense of humor that others gave and they may not like people who tell jokes. Seniors sure do enjoy jokes, but they usually want to tell the jokes according to their own terms.

Studies have shown that the cognitive abilities decline as we age and they affect how we make jokes. Understanding humor becomes more enhanced and seniors tend to find jokes funnier than the younger generation. It is not fully understood why some of the perceptions are the way they are.

Elderly people think a good sense of humor is an important virtue and that’s why it should be a part of the daily activities. It impacts their lives in a positive way.

When an elderly person is able to ensure humor, many facets can be revealed in the aging process and this brings with it positive effects to overall health. Because jokes have a level of demand on cognitive abilities, it delays a decline in this area.

Humor and aging

jokes for seniorsAging brings with it a lot of issues and sometimes seniors may feel a bit disconnected with the society because of various reasons. Spicing up their lives with a little humor always goes a long way. There are many areas where jokes about aging are displayed, including on different birthday cards.

Birthday cards offer an outlook that is a bit upbeat, especially regarding the topic about aging. Usually, most jokes that have to do with age are not positive. Also, most jokes that are told are usually about men.

There is a belief that humor that is related to the topic of aging can be looked at in three different ways:

  • Humor that is created by the seniors themselves
  • Humor from the general public
  • The role that such humor has on the lives of seniors

These ways can be a little tricky, especially the first two. Whether a joke that is related to aging comes out as humorous is rather multifaceted. It also depends on who is telling the joke.

Is it a friend, contemporary, or a comedian? Also, what is the mood of the person receiving the joke and the attitude of the teller? What is the age of the person telling the joke and is he or she a part of the older generation?

There are some jokes when told by a younger person may come out as being an insult. However, if the same joke was to be told by an older person, then it could be viewed as really humorous or it could also come out negative. It really depends on how the recipient chooses to view it.

When humor is created by the older people personally, it usually touches on many negative aspects that have to do with aging. This can include things such as circulation and prostate.

Today, sexual jokes are very common and they are also popular even among older people. The elderly enjoying telling jokes that aims at proving the younger generation wrong with regard to being sexless and washed up.

Humor also plays a role as we age. This is exemplified by things such as the red hat society that is open to ladies over 50 years of age. This is a society that has seen rapid growth over the years. This is a society which encourages older women to practice for old age as early as possible. Red Hat is a great place for women who are out seeking to have fun.

Some of the things that make aging a good thing include:

People who used to tell you that you shouldn’t do a certain thing are no longer here. They are dead

Older people are not taken very seriously, which is an opportunity to be who you have always wanted to be. As a woman, you can choose assertiveness while a man can be nurturing. You can be a public nuisance if you so, please.

Older people have already experienced great losses during their lifetime and so they can use this time as a way of making some new friends, try new riles and start new hobbies. There are people who try new sexual exploits even in old age!

Very often, we view aging as a kind of disease that we fear and loath at the same time. No one loves aging and humor can actually help us cope with unexpected challenges, changes, obstacles, and even hazards.

When we have a playful spirit and a good laugh once in a while, it helps us to bear things that would otherwise be unbearable. This is one of the reasons why seniors tend to speak some very wise truths.

Jokes for older people

Jokes for older peopleTelling jokes to older people is one of the best ways to keep seniors happy and laughing. There are many issues that are closely related to aging and there are many punch lines that are directed to these areas.

Senior members, bodily functions, and weight gain are some of the areas where most of the jokes for seniors are based. As mentioned earlier, some jokes for senior’s citizens may be funny, but there are other people who may perceive them as being offensive.

It all depends on the circumstances, the audience, and also the individual sense of humor. There are also some perfect times to tell jokes. There are some tips that can help you find and then tell jokes to the elderly.

They are everywhere!

Jokes for seniors are all over and there are so many to choose from. Most jokes can be included in greeting cards and then shared among friends. You can also use cartoons. There are more jokes that come up as people age. Jokes that are associated with aging are by far the most popular. There are many humorous narratives that one can choose from.

What you realize is the fact that the jokes about old people are rather universal and this means that almost everyone can understand them quite clearly. Some of the jokes can be pretty clean and simple and easy to understand and also relate.

When dealing with seniors, it is always sensible to remember that they can be very sensitive. Gauging their mood can help you stay out of trouble. Jokes can be a great thing for the elderly, but they can also be a source of bitterness and anger if not told with the kind of care that they deserve.

It is also important to appreciate the fact that some older people can handle jokes better than others. If you know a person well, then you will be able to pick out the kind of senior citizen jokes that will resonate well with him or her.

How to tell jokes to seniors

There are a couple of practices that can really help in the joke telling process. You need to observe them so that you won’t go wrong. Some of the tips include:

1. Memorizing and rehearsing

You do not have to tell it word for word, but it is important to have the main points at your fingertips. When you begin telling a joke, you need to follow it through to the very end. It can be very awkward if you were to forget the punch line regardless of the audience. You may forget some things, and even add some new ones, but never the main points.

2. Storytelling methods

There are many ways of telling a story and it is always a good thing to keep the elderly mesmerized and attentive. You could try creating some tension somewhere in the joke just like telling a story so that the listeners will long for what will come next.

3. Vocal variety

You should apply all the vocal varieties and also include hand gestures. It is important to avoid using a voice that is monotone. It is important to make an emphasis at certain points of the joke by being louder at times and softer at others. It is very important to be loud enough when you are telling seniors a joke.

4. Your audience

If you are telling jokes that could offend a person who is elderly you should not tell them to start with. Also, be a bit sensitive when you are telling jokes to someone who has recently lost a loved one, they may not react well to jokes that have to do with funerals.

Even if you think a joke is funny, you need to be sensitive about the feelings of others. You should always try to gauge the audience and how they might respond to the jokes you are about to tell.

5. Study others

If you want to tell jokes at a professional capacity, you need to watch others in the field to see how they do it. You should visit comedy clubs and notice the different ways that professional use and the kind of response that they get from the audience.

If you want to be relevant in the field, you will need to come up with your own style and one that will work well with the elderly if they happen to be your target.

6. Telling good jokes

It is important to think your jokes through and try to concentrate on the ones that are good-natured and the ones that can actually make people smile. It is always a good thing to get someone to smile than to offend them. You should try to stick to the universal and clean jokes that make fun of aging but in kindness.

Psychological responses triggered by laughing

jokes for the elderlyRegardless of age, laughing is a good thing. Even people who don’t seem to have any sense of humor laugh at some funny old people jokes. This unleashes a lot of physical, mental, and emotional benefits for everyone around them. There are many physiological responses that can be triggered by laughing and they include:

  • Relaxing the body and relieving stress and tension in muscles.
  • The stress hormone cortisol drops and this minimizes inflammation and pain in different parts of the body.
  • The feel-good substance endorphins are released and this helps the elderly feel content and happy. This helps to reduce physical pain perception.
  • It also leads to blood pressure reduction as well as a heart rate increase. This leads to better blood circulation as well as oxygen intake.
  • The immune system is also stimulated because of the salivary immunoglobulin and T-cells released and all these are triggered by your laughter.

Just before a person laughs, there is an electrical wave that sweeps the cerebral cortex. This could explain a theory which says that humor in a way improves the functioning and activation of the brain in a simultaneous way.

The health benefits

Research shows that there are many health benefits that are associated with laughter. People who laugh consistently tend to live longer. The positive effects such a lower blood pressure and an increase in the oxygen intake have very positive physiological effects that are closely linked to a decrease in stroke and even heart attacks.

The release of endorphin, which is a neurochemical helps a person to feel better. Laughing can give you an effect that is anesthetic thereby suppressing discomfort and pain for around two hours.

Jokes and mental health

Being able to laugh is related to a positive outlook on life. This is a great way to eliminate the many mental health issues that are being witnessed today such as anxiety and depression.

Patients display better mental health when they view humorous videos than when they view the non-humorous ones, this is one thing that connects humor and mental wellness.

Laughing is also a great way to promote the emotional wellbeing of the elderly and this helps them to stay positive and have a stable mood all through the day. Being optimistic is closely linked to an improve resilience which is the ability to handle situations that are rather stressful like losing a loved one, financial stress, and even disease. Clean jokes for seniors can help them do that and much more!

Written By
Kate Mallord is a health blogger. In the year 1988, She graduated from the University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio. Kate is an exemplary doctor. She has always devoted herself to caring for older adult patients. Read More