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6 Advantages of Playing Bingo in the Golden Years

Playing bingo is a fun and exciting activity, and it can also boost a senior’s health. For the last six years, physicians and researchers have studied the health-related benefits of playing bingo. The research concludes that playing bingo offers cognitive, emotional, physical, and social benefits for seniors.

Bingo originated in 1530 with a lottery in Italy, and it was adopted by wealthy Frenchmen in the late 1770s. By the 1880s, Germans had developed their own variation and used bingo to teach students math, history, and spelling. In 1929, the pastime reached the US with the name “Beano.” The game was featured in county fairs, and it involved a caller choosing numbered discs from a cigar box. Players marked their cards with beans, yelling “Beano!” when they won. 

A toy salesman changed the name to “bingo” after hearing a player mistakenly shout this word instead. Since then, the game has made its way to church groups, casinos, senior centers, and nursing homes. For seniors who are diagnosed with serious health conditions and advised to stay at home, online bingo is an alternative.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an elderly care provider families can trust. For reliable home care, Las Vegas seniors can receive much-needed help by hiring a caregiver. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Here are a few ways your loved one can benefit from playing bingo.

1. Sharpens Cognitive Acuity

Playing bingo requires attentive listening and focusing. By remembering the numbers and finding them on cards, seniors can enhance their memory.

In January 2012, researchers at Case Western Reserve University conducted a study involving people with dementia and impaired vision. Subjects used computer-generated cards in different sizes, contrasts, and brightness levels. When cards were enlarged and printed in high contrast, players with mild dementia performed at the same level as those without dementia. Making these card modifications enhanced visual perception and cognitive function. The study was published in Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition.

2. Increases Hand-Eye Coordination

Covering numbers on cards requires dexterity and quick reflexes, and repetitive, fast movements enhance coordination and reaction time. At the University of Southampton, tests showed bingo players moved faster than non-bingo players.

3. Helps Seniors Socialize

Gathering with other people provides a sense of belonging in a community. Your loved one can connect with friends and develop a support system that dispels loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Being socially active can slow cognitive decline.

Isolation can lead to illness and a shorter lifespan, as reported by a 2013 study in England. The research involved 6,500 subjects aged 52 and older. Scientists evaluated isolation based on the frequency of contact with friends, family, and community organizations. For eight years, the researchers tracked illness and mortality. Subjects with limited socialization had high mortality rates, even when adjustments were made for pre-existing medical conditions.

For families living in Las Vegas, NV, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

4. Promotes Overall Wellbeing

The Mayo Clinic reports that a hearty laugh increases oxygen intake while stimulating the lungs, heart, and muscles. Laughing releases brain chemicals called endorphins that brighten the mood, relieve pain, and reduce stress.

Laughing can help your elderly loved one feel relaxed, acquire more immune cells, antibodies, and neuropeptides, and ward off infection.

5. Helps Seniors Maintain Their Independence

In 2011, researchers at Rush University Medical Center found a correlation between social activity and functional ability. Seniors who interacted with others on a regular basis needed less assistance with personal care such as getting dressed, eating, and walking up and down stairs. The researchers concluded that having social support lowers the risk of disability by roughly 50 percent. Human interaction stimulates the brain and boosts physical function. The findings were published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

6. Reduces the Days Spent in Hospital

In 2011, the British Medical Association advised the National Health Service to offer hospitalized individuals bingo games and art classes. Doctors urged that these initiatives could quell boredom, resolve depression, reduce the need for pain medication, and speed recovery. 

Being hospitalized can be stressful for several reasons. In addition to managing impaired health, seniors are subject to unfamiliar surroundings, loss of independence, and lack of privacy. These factors affect seniors physically and delay healing.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Las Vegas seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If your loved one needs assistance with daily activities, call Home Care Assistance at (702) 550-3185 today.