Bingo is a popular game all over the world. In the U.K. it is played by three million people daily. Bingo is especially loved by senior citizens; it is something they find fun, sociable and easy to participate in.
Many people argue that bingo does not provide enough mental stimulation when compared to other activities such as bridge, canasta and crossword puzzles. Whilst it is true that there are other more intellectually stimulating games available, it is a mistake to think that Bingo has nothing to offer.
In fact several studies have revealed that bingo can improve concentration, short-term memory, and other cognitive functions in elderly people.
Bingo's bad reputation in nursing home settings springs from the fact that in the past bingo was often over-played. Times have changed however, and today leisure staff are well qualified and highly motivated to develop a calendar of activities that offers meaningful, relevant, exciting, and wished-for activities. Regardless of what people say, Bingo continues to be immensely popular with elderly people in the community as well as in nursing homes settings and other long term assisted living facilities.
These days there are many variations of bingo that are stimulating and fun to play: Picture Bingo, Musical Bingo, Digital Bingo, and Word Bingo are some common forms of bingo. These variations are usually available in different levels so that people with different abilities can enjoy the game.
Bingo in long term care facilities is not played for money; in fact many facilities disapprove of the 'gambling' aspect of the game. However the excitement of winning can can provide a lot of pleasure to people. You may find token prizes for winners instead.
When I worked for an RSL Retirement Village we played ten Bingo games every Thursday afternoon. The games cost $.20 cents each; it attracted 17 - 25 participants, so there was always around $4 dollars available for the winner of each game. It took us 50-60 minutes to play the ten games; it was enormously popular and residents had a great time, every time.
Bingo games are no longer expensive; however they are even cheaper if you make them yourself. Here are some templates I have used before successfully.
Bingo is not suitable for people suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, unless they are in the early stages. Picture Bingo is more applicable to such people. The Leisure Coordinator is the best judge regarding who is likely to be able to participate well and enjoy themselves.