Bingo Proven to Boost Cognitive Skills in Seniors

Tim Watt  |  January 11, 2012

A recent study found that high-contrast, large bingo cards boost thinking skills in older players who have cognitive difficulties or issues with visual perception caused by Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Boston University and Bridgewater State University, was based on the observation that as people age, they lose the sensitivity with which they perceive contrasts. This issue is even more pronounced in those who have dementia. In using bingo, a game that has proven positive effects on socialization for seniors in elder care communities, researchers changed the contrast, size and other visual aspects of bingo cards to see how they affected the players.

When the cards were changed with more contrast and larger size, researchers noted improvement in the seniors' bingo performance. Seniors with mild dementia could play as well as peers who did not have the disease.

Boosting contrast is used in a therapy called Externally Supported Performance Interventions (ESTI) for people with dementia. The researchers noted that such interventions allow individuals or other visual challenges to live longer, healthier lives.

Previous studies have also found that bingo can help seniors maintain motor skills, possibly preventing disabilities, dementia or death, according to The Telegraph

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