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May
8th

Bingo Keeps Seniors Independent

Regular exercise is important for seniors that want to maintain an independent retirement but researchers say that social activities can be just as important. For seniors the ability to live independently is extremely important. Many seniors have a hard time dealing with retirement and leaving the workforce. A long term study by the Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago underlined the importance of social activities for seniors and pensioners. Bryan James a dementia expert at Rush University who led the long term study stated “Social activity has long been recognized as an essential component of healthy aging, but now we have strong evidence that it is also related to better everyday functioning and less disability in old age. The findings are exciting because social activity is potentially a risk factor that can be modified to help older adults avoid the burdens of disability.”

The volunteers in the study were all healthy and were asked a series of questions. Participants were asked how often they went to restaurants, sporting events, played bingo, went on day trips and attended religious services. As the study subjects entered their early 80’s each was assessed to determine whether they could do basic everyday tasks such as dressing and bathing themselves as well as other tasks including housekeeping and walking about a half a mile. According to the results of the study those who remained socially active were twice as likely to be able to continue their normal daily routines without assistance.  Jones said that social activities have two benefits; physical exercise and interacting with other people could reinforce the brain’s neural networks.

Important social activities included church and bingo. In the past several studies have clearly shown the benefits of playing bingo for seniors. Playing bingo encourages mental activity and in some cases can slow the onset of dementia. At most land based bingo halls players must mark their cards manually which helps with hand eye coordination and requires a great deal of concentration. Playing online bingo has the same benefits. Seniors can also learn how to use a computer by playing internet bingo and can help them remain connected to the outside world.

Most people are amazed when they learn that such a simple game can have such profound benefits for seniors and pensioners. Who knew that bingo could be so beneficial?