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Bring ‘em to Bingo!

Dear Readers:
My recent column about a family of siblings who turned to Bingo as an activity for their aging relatives resulted in quite a lot of discussion and a flurry of letters on the cognitive merits of Bingo for the elderly, along with the games being an excellent opportunity to get older seniors out of the house and doing something fun and social. Following are a few of the letters that came in. —Aunt Bingo

Dear Aunt Bingo:
I was just reading your article on taking persons getting up in years to Bingo. Well, I take care of my Mom and I take her to Bingo, too, once or twice a month.
Both of us have always loved Bingo, whether we win or lose. I take her now that she is 91 years old. She can still daub the numbers on paper and does not like the machines. I just double-check her. It keeps her mind active, helps as therapy for hand-eye coordination, plus the socializing with friends her age helps a lot. She takes goodies to them and they chat at intermission.
Personally, I love Bingo so much that now I go to Las Vegas to play Bingo games at least every two years with friends my age.
Diana S., via email

Dear Aunt Bingo:
I read with great interest your column about family members taking older relatives to Bingo. I thought it was wonderful that this family actually had a discussion and worked together to come up with activities to help their aging mother and aunt.
Making Bingo part of those activities, along with car rides, music performances, etc., sounds like an excellent plan of action. I am going to share this story with my children and ask that they keep this plan in mind for when my husband and I are older and in need of extra care.
Bingo Shelly, via email

Dear Aunt Bingo:
Bingo as brain therapy? I had no idea! But I suppose when you think about it, the process of tracking random numbers that can only appear in certain columns, and then searching those columns to match and mark the numbers as they are called, really does sound like good mental therapy.
I have a number of Bingo buddies with elderly parents and I am not aware that any of them bring their folks to Bingo. The next time I run into them I am going to tell them about your column and about the merits of playing Bingo for the aged and encourage them to bring their parents—for the mental exercise along with the just-plain-fun of getting out and playing Bingo.
JCG, via email

Dear Aunt Bingo:
My father is now in an eldercare facility, which is very nice and well managed. They provide many activities and entertainment for residents. One of the activities is Bingo, which is played several times a week and always attracts a lot of players.
I always assumed that the Bingo fell under the category of entertainment. Then I saw in your column that Bingo is also very good for mental stimulation, coordination, and so on. What a wonderful discovery that it may also be helping my Dad keep mentally fit, and hopefully is doing the same for me on my trips to the Bingo hall!
Peter J., via email


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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