Ageing comes with several challenges that can lower the quality of life in seniors. The elderly are more vulnerable to loneliness, cognitive decline, and physical impairment. Fortunately, there are some activities that can help maintain a happy and overall healthy lifestyle in old age.
If we told you playing bingo is one of the most rewarding activities for the elderly, would you believe us?
Well, bingo is more than a source of entertainment and leisure. Walk into any residential care facility, church group, retirement community, or senior centre in your area, and you’ll see seniors glued to this game. It is a popular favourite for a reason.
Here are the benefits of playing bingo for the elderly.
Boosts cognitive abilities
When playing bingo, a person must put in undivided concentration. They have to listen carefully to the numbers called out and then locate the picks quickly so that they don’t miss marking off any number on their cards.
Crossing multiple cards is even more challenging for the brain, making the gameplay an excellent mental activity.
Playing bingo helps keep the brain active and sharper for longer. Senior bingo players can scan and process information faster than someone who never stretches their mental muscles.
A research study shows that the use of varied bingo cards with larger print or higher contrast can help seniors improve cognitive impairment conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Boosts emotional health
Getting older can mean spending most of the time isolated. Unfortunately, this puts seniors at the risk of developing stress, anxiety, and depression. Bingo encourages social interaction.
Meeting with new people, sharing personal experiences, laughing together, and enjoying each other’s company can make the elderly always eager for such moments. These experiences can go a long way in creating meaningful friendships that bring about the psychological feeling of belonging. A person will feel motivated to step out of the house as many days as possible.
Laughter is food for the soul. The body usually releases endorphins when we are in a happy mode. Endorphins are natural feel-good chemicals that can elevate mood, relieve stress, and leave the elderly more relaxed.
Also, the shared laughter and memories can help diffuse bitterness and resentment, thus assisting seniors in getting over whatever they may be going through. That’s why socially active seniors tend to lead happier lives.
Strengthens physical health
Mental health and physical health are closely interconnected. As mentioned above, the social nature of bingo plays a crucial role in improving mood. Well, lower stress levels are not only good for emotional well-being but also physical health.
A research study focused on seniors entering their 80s found out that socially active people faced a lower risk of physical disability. The researchers evaluated the seniors’ abilities to accomplish daily living activities (ADLs), such as dressing, transferring, bathing, and toileting.
Those who were socially engaged in most parts of their old age did not need much physical assistance with wearing clothes, climbing stairs, and using the bathroom.
Increases social interactions
When people enter old age, their social interaction level often drops. Sadly, this can negatively impact their socialisation skills. The lack of social participation can, in turn, lead to cognitive decline and physical problems.
Bingo gives seniors a chance to expand their social circle in a more fun and engaging way. Communicating and bonding with other people face-to-face a few hours a week can make a lot of difference in their quality of life.
What’s more, friendships can extend outside the bingo community centres. Whenever the elderly feel bored, they can reconnect with those friends who have similar interests. Such connections can lead to other meaningful commitments, which are not necessarily game-related.
Speeds up the recovery process
Yes, you heard that right.
Research findings show that seniors who participate in mental activities like playing bingo tend to heal faster from illness. Those who go under the knife also experience shorter recovery periods.
The positive emotions associated with the game can temporarily relieve pain.
Encourages inclusivity and integration
Is your loved one showing signs of early memory loss? Can’t walk independently? Whatever the case, bingo creates a perfect environment for seniors to have fun without worrying about their skill levels or disabilities.
Depending on the individual needs of the elderly, arrangements can be made to allow them to play bingo at a local hall or home with friends and family members. Either way, it is a rewarding experience.
Another beauty about playing bingo is that interactions are not limited to just the elderly. Bingo also accommodates the middle-aged and younger generations.
As you can see, bingo is not just for passing the time. With these numerous benefits of playing bingo for the elderly, it is fair to say the game is undoubtedly worth the time and effort.
Many have made a difference with it. Your loved one could benefit as well. Encourage your family member to join even if they are in the early stage of dementia. The game is easy. They can learn and master the rules in a couple of sessions. And, you can also play bingo online at the comfort of your home.
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