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Why Laughter Really Can Be The Best Medicine

Delegates will be gathering this month to explore aspects of life with spina bifida and hydrocephalus on the theme: Lifestyle, Leisure and Laughter.

The fifth Shine40Plus Conference, the most popular to date, has attracted 70 member delegates, partners, parents and carers from all around the UK to the Holiday Inn in Telford.

Thanks to medical advances, survival rates with spina bifida and hydrocephalus are increasing well into the 50s and beyond. This is great news, though bringing new challenges with age.

Enabled by a National Lottery Awards for All grant, the Shine40Plus conference features ways to help, including managing mental wellbeing, helpful technology, accessible travel, tips for daily living, and the health benefits of laughter.

Splitting one’s sides really can be good for you. Laughter releases feel-good hormones, boosts immunity, and can even decrease pain. By relaxing the body, reducing anxiety and strengthening relationships, it can even add years to life.

Shine has more than 3,500 members aged 40 and over, and the Awards for All grant will also enable the development of the Shine40Plus service. This will include a new Peer Support Volunteer Development Day, further Shine40Plus activities and special interest Facebook groups such as the café, book and crafts, and ongoing support to a growing and unique 40Plus community.

Dave Isom, Shine Services Development Manager, said:

“It’s been a privilege for the Shine staff involved to work directly with members to develop the conference and the future has never looked brighter for members who are 40 and over.” 

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