New Study Finds Bingo Has Large Benefits on the Aging Mind

New Study Finds Bingo Has Large Benefits on the Aging Mind

Bingo is a common activity played in old age homes and senior centers around the world, as well as in Bingo Halls and churches. Although its use is mainly social, to bring people together for group activities, a new study has shown that it holds great benefits to mental health. It is common knowledge that as humans age, the mind and body become more sensitive and have higher probabilities to begin to slow down and deteriorate. However, keeping physically active and mentally alert is strongly recommended to help combat this.

Loss of visual perception is a common feature of old age (this is most prominent in people with dementia) and that is why Bingo is such a good tool to combat this. It promotes interaction and mental engagement. However there is little information on how visual perception problems affect the way people think.  But a new study that focused on Bingo and senior citizens came up with some fascinating findings.

Researchers discovered that large bingo cards with a high contrast increase playing abilities and thinking skills for people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases (as both diseases cause large visual perception and cognitive difficulties). Participants of the study were from all different age groups and played bingo on the computer with special cards that the researchers created. Today it is well known that bingo is played among all age groups. While many seniors have the opportunity to play bingo as part of the community, many are isolated and unable to partake in this sociable activity. While many 'gambling' sites are vilified, there is actually a great deal of good that can be found in finding an online social community for those who are unable to partake in the 'real-life' game. Online bingo has become a huge phenomenon with thousands of sites around the world featuring the game, being an example of somewhere users can interact socially as well as play free games. Encouraging this kind of online gaming and interaction has been found to be a good substitute for seniors who are unable to play with friends.

Relatively speaking this study is just a piece of the puzzle when it comes to studying the human brain and how it changes as we age. This study helps back up other studies done with seniors suffering from dementia. In those studies researches found that senior citizens taking part in the study were able to function better when there was greater contrast between objects in their living environments. The large contrasts seemed to assist them in being more aware of where things were and not a loose a sense of things. An example one study placed a black couch in a white room.

For those interested in more details the finding of the research study were published in the article, “Bingo! Externally supported performance intervention for deficit visual search in normal aging, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease,” in the journal Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition.

This study may be of interest to the many millions of younger and middle aged players of online bingo around the world. The fact that a fun game and hobby can help keep your mind sharp well into old age and benefit your long term mental health is good news to have.  Nevertheless, as is true no matter what you’re betting on (bingo, horseracing, or who will be named the next US president, for example) please gamble responsibly.

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