Dear Aunt Bingo:
My Mom and her sister (my aunt) have lived together for a long time and
are now getting up in years. With their aging they have gotten less
active and stay closer to home more. This leaves my family struggling
to find activities that will interest them, keep them active and
engaged, but will not be overly taxing.
When the weather is good, they enjoy short neighborhood walks and long
car rides. They like trips to a park with a lake and playground. They
also enjoy trips to the town center when they have music concerts and
It is wintertime that has been a problem. They are reluctant to leave
the house when it is cold and the ground may be icy and snowy. And once
the Christmas holidays are past, there are virtually no activities we
knew of to tempt them out of the house even if they were interested.
My brothers, sister and I sat down one day to see if we could
brainstorm ideas for things to do with Mom and Aunt Marie to keep them
occupied from January through April. The guys scanned their tablets and
my sister and I looked through a stack of Pennysavers and other
community papers we’d picked up at church and at grocery stores.
One of the newspapers my sister brought from church was a copy of your
Bingo Bugle, which none of us had seen before. We all lit up at the
idea—taking turns taking them to Bingo a couple times a week was a
perfect solution. There were quite a few games to choose from pretty
much every day of the week, which worked for all our schedules. We knew
Mom and Aunt Marie loved playing games and would like it even more if
they could win money. And, it gave us all something more to do while we
were spending time with them. Win-win-win!
We also found some other community activities and senior center events
that might be to their liking, but Bingo remained our #1 plan. We
floated the idea to the “girls” and, sure enough, they perked right up
when they heard the idea. Aunt Marie said she and my Uncle Wes had
played Bingo on occasion. Mom reminded us of a trip she and Dad took to
Las Vegas years ago during which Dad had won $200 playing Bingo and she
had won on slots. Just the idea of going to Bingo had opened up happy
memories for them!
A few days later, when the weather turned decent, my brother and I
packed Mom and my aunt into the SUV and drove them to Bingo. They
enjoyed themselves completely, had great fun fussing over coming close
to Bingo and just missing, and even splurged on a couple of giant
oatmeal cookies from the kitchen.
We really knew we’d struck pay dirt when we were dropping them off at
home and Mom asked when we could go to Bingo again. I explained that it
might be a while because a winter storm was coming soon. “Sweetie,” Mom
chided me. “What’s a little snow?”
RC, Illinois, via email
Once again, the Bingo Bugle comes to the rescue!
I’m thrilled to hear that you and your family stumbled across Bingo as
a source of entertainment for your mother and aunt. There’s something
else you should know: Research has shown that Bingo is great therapy
for seniors in enhancing hand-eye coordination, boosting cognitive
abilities, improving physical health, increasing socialization, and
even accelerating healing and recuperation after a medical procedure.
I should add that these two ladies are very lucky to have you and your siblings looking out for them. Bless you! —Aunt Bingo
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