health and wellness tips

Bonding With Bingo Fun

bingo

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!

bonding with bingo fun

Cute pic eh? I added it just for 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!

bonding with bingo fun

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    kalpana solsi
    July 9, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Growing old is a privileged denied to many and those who are fortunate to enter this phase must rejoice. Vidya, today as I spoke to my mom on phone , she said that old age was a curse. I told her to convert it into a boon by adapting to the changed atmosphere. But its not easy to change minds.
    Bingo seems to have a lot of advantages and one should play fun games to keep the mind healthy and active.
    kalpana solsi recently posted…The pebble in the shoe.My Profile

  • Reply
    Laurel Regan
    July 10, 2014 at 3:55 am

    This is fascinating, Vidya – thanks for sharing!
    Laurel Regan recently posted…The dreaded elevator pitchMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bhavya
    July 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Vidya 🙂

    It was such a great read. I love bingo and would play whenever we had the chance, we even played in class during free hours or when the teacher was late for her class.
    The quote that you’ve shared at the end of the post – awesome. It makes you think so much, how we take our life for granted, how we are privileged to enjoy what we have and how we don’t value it. Thanks Vidz 🙂
    Bhavya recently posted…The Appointment LetterMy Profile

  • Reply
    LuAnn Braley
    July 10, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    My father was totally a type “A” personality (driven, etc.) and had a stroke at the age of 47. He passed away one week later. I am older now than he was at that time. I plan on being around to dance at my children’s weddings. The houses in our county are too far apart to do regular activities, but I am glad to hear your neighbors are enjoying their Bingo. (I used to go to bingo after work sometimes.)
    LuAnn Braley recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Penny Wise by Dave and Neta JacksonMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      July 10, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      47 is so young. I too am older now and yes, intend to be around for a while! We had a tough time coming up with activities for the seniors and short-listed a few. Some of them enjoy bridge…but they were all excited about Bingo. 🙂 So nice to see them all cheerful! Thank you LuAnn! Heading over to see your book review now.

  • Reply
    Sheethal
    July 11, 2014 at 2:40 am

    BINGO! Gosh… how much we have played this… during almost all class hours right from school to college. ANd yea life is too short to take anything for granted. Enjoy every moments. Very lovely post as always… 🙂

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    July 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    This was quite an eye opener Vidya. I have always dismissed Bingo as a ‘kitty party’ game and have stayed away from it. It might be fun after all!

  • Reply
    richa singh
    July 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

    We play bingo in office through a common division employee engagement centre. It is a lot of fun! Bingo serving multiple purpose for elderly is quite an interesting insight.
    richa singh recently posted…Controlling the blogger’s block!My Profile

  • Reply
    Proactive Indian
    July 19, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    “Do not regret growing older It is a privilege denied to many.” Beautiful words!

    It’s good to know Bingo has so many benefits. I’ve been doing crosswords since my student days, and Sudoku since it started appearing in newspapers a few years back. Quite a few people used to tell me that crosswords are a waste of time, but I ignored them. One day, I read an article that strongly recommended crosswords, Sudoku, etc. as excellent ‘brain exercises’, and circulated it among the critics of crosswords!
    Proactive Indian recently posted…Others should be ethical. ‘Leaders’ will be ‘practical’.My Profile

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