Some months ago, I wrote about how we celebrate major festivals in our condominium complex with food fun and games. One of the games we enjoy is Bingo. Lots of preparations are made, coordinators appointed and some fun prizes lined up as almost everyone – including the children wants to participate. The anticipation builds up and we all look forward to a very good time.
Then, after January, building renovations were planned. Changes were made. The building committee changed hands. We decided to revamp a lot of things, one of which was the Youth Club. We have now changed it to the Residents’ Club, with full family memberships. And one of the major introductions is activities for senior citizens.
Our apartment complex has a number of senior citizens whose children live abroad. While most of them are very active people and are busy with various activities, it can be depressing for them when the weather turns wet or cold. Watching TV all the time is not an option. To avoid the sense of boredom that somehow segues into making them morose, we put our heads together. Discussions were had. And Bingo received the most votes. And so, we now have Bingo night every fortnight and it is so much fun!
Some of them are quite internet and mobile savvy and as frequent globe-trotters, enjoy the games jackpots at William Hill Bingo
So now not all the senior citizens will participate. Some are skeptical.
To convince them, I was researching some info – after all, statistics and research are more convincing than our cajoling. Remember I mentioned in my post about raising teens and blinding them with science? The same works for the elders.
I came across this article in the Science Daily titled “’BINGO!’ game helps researchers study perception deficits”
Here’s the summary of the article:
Bingo, a popular activity in nursing homes, senior centers and assisted-living facilities, has benefits that extend well beyond socializing. Researchers found high-contrast, large bingo cards boost thinking and playing skills for people with cognitive difficulties and visual perception problems produced by Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.( Case Western Reserve University. (2012, January 4). ‘BINGO!’ game helps researchers study perception deficits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 9, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120103135327.htm)
We’ve all read that as we grow older, we must find ways to stay physically agile and mentally alert. With it, age brings a loss of sensitivity in perceiving contrasts and this is pronounced in those with dementia. To prevent this from happening, nursing homes and senior centers often use Bingo as a social activity because interaction and staying engaged promotes mental health.
Not much is known about how visual perception problems affect the way the elderly think and play but testing cards of different sizes, contrasts and complexities during the game of Bingo threw some light on this. They found that by changing the card’s contrast, size and brightness there was improved performance. Even those with mild dementia matched up to their healthy peers.
It was interesting to learn that highlighting contrast in their living environment helps the elderly move more safely. Also, contrasting tableware helps them eat more – as in dark table cloth, white plates and food whose color stands out prominently on the plate. It seems that applying the contrast enables those with visual perception issues to function more efficiently, something that is very important for those who live independently.
I’ve read that bingo also helps children, especially those with disabilities, learn better – especially Science and Math, which gets a bad rap most of the time.
What I do know is, the game of bingo keeps our senior citizens happy and smiling and having fun. It helps them bond with everyone. They are more cheerful as they go about their day. And the positive mental and physical health benefits? Big bonus!