Bingo: Improving Quality of Life for Seniors

Bingo: Improving Quality of Life for Seniors

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Bingo has an incredible following and is played enthusiastically across many countries. Bingo terminology is witty, cheeky, and entertaining!
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Bingo is a beloved game of chance that is enjoyed all over the world. With its witty terminology and entertaining atmosphere, bingo creates a sense of anticipation and camaraderie among players.

Whether played online or enjoyed in traditional settings like nursing homes and halls, bingo offers a thrilling experience that brings joy and mental stimulation to participants of all ages.

5 Benefits of the Bingo for the Elderly

  • Mental Stimulation: Playing bingo requires concentration, memory, and mental agility as players listen for numbers and mark them on their cards. This cognitive engagement can help keep the mind sharp and active.

  • Social Interaction: Bingo is a social game that provides an opportunity for the elderly to socialize and interact with others. It fosters a sense of belonging, reduces feelings of isolation, and can lead to the formation of new friendships.

  • Emotional Well-being: Bingo is a source of enjoyment and entertainment for the elderly. It can lift spirits and alleviate feelings of boredom or loneliness.  The prospect of winning creates excitement and releases endorphins.

  • Motor Skills: Handling bingo cards, covering numbers, and marking off patterns require fine motor skills. Regularly participating in the game can help maintain and improve hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and finger flexibility for the elderly.

  • Memory Enhancement: Remembering the called numbers and keeping track of the progress on the bingo card can enhance memory skills as it exercises their memory recall abilities and helps to maintain cognitive function.

A Short History of Bingo

The modern version of bingo, as we know it today, began to take shape in the early 20th century. In 1929, a toy salesman named Edwin S. Lowe encountered a carnival in Georgia where a game called "Beano" was being played. Inspired by its excitement, Lowe developed his own version of the game and introduced it as "Bingo."

Bingo quickly gained popularity in the United States, particularly during the Great Depression as a means of entertainment and fundraising.  Bingo continued to spread across the world, becoming a staple in retirement homes, community centers, and bingo halls.

With the advent of technology, online bingo emerged in the 1990s, providing players with the opportunity to enjoy the game from the comfort of their own homes. Today, bingo enjoys an incredible worldwide following and has been adapted into many different styles and formats, each with its own unique twists and rules.

6 Bingo Variations

  • 75-Ball Bingo: This is the traditional style of bingo played in the United States. It features a 5x5 grid with the letters B-I-N-G-O across the top and random numbers from 1 to 75 within each column. The goal is to complete a specific pattern, such as a line, diagonal, or shape, by marking off the called numbers on the grid.

  • 90-Ball Bingo: Popular in the United Kingdom and Europe, 90-ball bingo offers a slightly different gameplay experience. Players use a 9x3 grid, with each row containing five numbers and four empty spaces. The numbers range from 1 to 90, and players aim to complete one line, two lines, or a full house (all numbers on the grid) to win.

  • Speed Bingo: As the name suggests, speed bingo is a fast-paced version of the game. The numbers are called out quickly, allowing players less time to daub their cards. It requires quick reflexes and sharp focus to keep up with the rapid pace of the game.

  • Electronic Bingo: With the advent of technology, electronic bingo has become increasingly popular. Instead of using paper cards, players use electronic devices, such as tablets or handheld terminals, to play the game. This style offers features like automatic daubing, multiple cards management, and interactive gameplay elements.

  • Picture Bingo: A delightful twist on the traditional number-based game. Instead of using numbers, pictures or symbols represent the items to be marked off on the bingo cards. This style of bingo appeals to a wide range of players, including young children, non-English speakers, or individuals who prefer visual cues.
    Related: 100s of Picture Bingo Games

  • Music Bingo: A fun and interactive variation of the traditional bingo game that incorporates music. Instead of using numbers on the bingo cards, song titles, music artists, or snippets of songs are used.
    Related: Musical Bingo for Dementia Care | Musical Bingo #1 | Musical Bingo #2


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Comments   Post a Comment

Elizabeth 22nd Feb 2019 Recreation Officer/AIN
We played the Valentines Day Bingo for Valentines Day, it really made the residents think and concentrate, it was definitely something different,
Susan 8th Sep 2016 Activities Co-ordinator
I play every week I bought a set of bingo cards copied the numbers onto a grid on A4 sheet so the numbers were as large as possible and just photocopy a sets of sheets from my original. Originally I had a laminated set but found it very messy and time consuming between games, I also added a few numbers to make the game a bit longer. I had originally bought a game were each number was a memory reminiscence prompt but found residents wanted to get on with the game and no chatting they have become very competitive! I have a basket of small items such as soap or shower gels etc for prizes.
Talita 12th Sep 2016
Hi Susan, yes sometimes it's best to keep things simple isn't it! A basket of small soaps etc for prizes is a great idea. Thanks for your feedback!
Rosemarie 29th Apr 2016 Diversional Therapist
My residents would play every day if they could! I have compromised by having this activity on Monday afternoons and every second Thursday. By far the most popular activity. At present I have a palliative resident who gets wheeled in on his bed to play! We have a small cup which they take pleasure in winning each week and sometimes a group travels to another home to join in with their games.
Debbi 15th Jul 2015 Teacher
I know of a facility who tried to cut down the number of times bingo was played each week, the results? A revolution, the residents where not happy! However to spice things up the RAO had different callers from the group and different styles.
Allison 8th Jul 2015 Activities Coordinator
My residents love Bingo, I often use their unit numbers when I'm calling, eg Judy's door 24
I'm banned by the residents from using the traditional Bingo calls as they don't like them! They just want to play and take it really seriously. It's a pity but it's their game after all!
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