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The Benefits of Bingo

Dear Readers:
Last month, a letter appeared in this column from a reader whose family had turned to Bingo as an activity to share with older relatives. As part of my response, I reminded readers that Bingo is not just a fun social activity for seniors, but is also good mental exercise with a range of health benefits.
In this month’s column, I thought I’d expand on that theme with the following Information. I hope you find it valuable. —Aunt Bingo

Home Care Assistance (HCA) of Warren, New Jersey (908-450-9400), provides older adults with quality care that enables them to live happier, healthier lives at home. HCA embraces a positive, balanced approach to aging centered on the evolving needs of older adults.
As part of this care, HCA is a strong proponent of Bingo as a go-to game for seniors because of its health benefits. Following are five reasons that HCA senior care experts suggest that seniors play more Bingo. For more info, visit homecareassistancewarren.com.

Enhances Hand-Eye Coordination
Reflexes and coordination decline naturally as seniors age; however, certain games can help them maintain a high level of hand-eye coordination. Bingo requires players to identify numbers as they are called and mark their cards accordingly at a quick clip. Because of the speed required and the repetitive nature of the game, studies show that Bingo can significantly improve hand-eye coordination.

Boosts Cognitive Abilities
As the game requires a great deal of mental flexibility and alertness to grasp, identify and remember specific information, Bingo may help improve cognitive acuity and short-term memory. Research even shows that Bingo players perform better than non-Bingo players on tests measuring memory, mental speed and information retention.

Improves Physical Health
Bingo events typically involve a lot of laughter and excitement. As laughter triggers a number of physical changes in the body that can boost the immune system, relieve stress and even diminish pain, Bingo can actually promote seniors’ general health. If you are unable to attend Bingo games outside of the home, you may find that playing a modified two-player version with a family member or caregiver offers similar fun and laughs.

Increases Socialization
Social interactions are crucial for seniors to maintain happy and healthy lives. Research shows that seniors who take part in regular social activities tend to live longer and remain healthier than those who do not. As most Bingo players tend to become regulars and frequently get to know one another outside of the game, a Bingo group can provide an opportunity to get to know others and make new friends.

Accelerates Healing and Recuperation
Bingo may help seniors recover faster following a surgery or serious illness. According to recent studies, elderly individuals who played games like Bingo during recovery had shorter hospital stays and faster healing times. They also had a reduced risk of depression.

Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.

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