Bingo and Longevity

Study after study has shown that playing bingo has several health benefits. The benefits are both physical and mental. One university study showed that playing bingo can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms and promoted mental health. Playing bingo also helps maintain hand eye coordination and provides valuable exercise. The social aspect of bingo is also important and helps older people maintain a positive attitude and relieve stress. It is common to see women in their 80’s, 90’s and older enjoying a bingo session at local bingo halls. Some of these older players have learned computer skills and also play online bingo. In the UK the ‘Race Online 2012’ program has helped many pensioners learn computer skills and many of the teaching sessions were held at local bingo halls.

The fact that so many centenarians still play bingo illustrates the many benefits of bingo. In the UK a woman known as Isabella just turned 102 and still plays bingo several times a week. Isabella has been playing for over 60 years and a boss at a local bingo club told her several years ago that when she turned 100 she could play for free. The boss kept his word and Isabella hasn’t paid one penny to the Beach Bingo Club in North Shields since October 18, 2009. Isabella told reporters “I love playing bingo and the best thing was when I turned 100 the boss said I could play for free for the rest of my days. I’m still going strong and I play three times a week without fail.” Isabella says that she started playing bingo when she was 40 years old. “I first went to a bingo place in a room above the Assembly Rooms in Saville Street in North Shields with my neighbour, Lilly Pattie. There were no tables and chairs and we had to sit with our tickets on our knees. I got the bug and haven’t stopped playing.”

In Australia a bingo caller who just turned 100 informed reporters that she has no intention of retiring. Cecily Gauson, of New South Wales, says that retiring is “out of the question” and still works three days a week calling games. Mrs. Gauson credits her long life to a good breakfast every day and not smoking. Centenarian bingo players are not confined to the UK. In the Philippines Alfredo Robles is 101 years old and his wife Magdalena is 100. The couple spends most of their leisure hours playing bingo. Their son, a geriatrician practicing in Australia, said “Whenever we want to energize them from their stupor, we will only invite them to play bingo and they will immediately be brought back to life. That’s how they really enjoy the game.” It would appear that for many people playing bingo is the secret to a long and happy life.

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