Sat Feb 28 2015 10:50 ET
Senior Citizen Bingo
If you have an elderly parent or grandparent, you may notice that they often like to spend their weekends out going to the local bingo hall and playing the game. Many elderly people have those little bingo bags with the colored bottles of pigment mixture to use on their cards, and of course a little good luck troll or stuffed animal inside them. This may be a strange thing to younger generations who just don't understand why the elderly love bingo.
The most obvious reason that the elderly love bingo is that it is an easy game to play for their age group. Overall, older people don't tend to be very physically active. Many battle with bad backs and bad knees. And those are often the ones that walk. A lot of people in that age group need the assistance of a wheelchair or a walker to help them. With age, basketball with your friends at the local YMCA just isn't viable anymore.
Even though the game doesn't require physical strain, the individuals playing it can still get out of the house. One of the dangers of growing old is being stuck cooped up in the house all the time. Even with or without health troubles, feeling alone and bored can increase the effects of aging and add depression into the mix. This is especially true for individuals who live alone. They could have never been married, be divorced or even have a spouse that has passed before them. Getting out like that regularly increases emotional health.
Another reason that the elderly love bingo may be more obvious than expected. A lot of elderly people love this game simply because other elderly people do. Everyone needs a place to hang and talk to other people in the same age group as them – even older people. They enjoy going to the bingo hall and socializing with other people their own age. The majority of these people will feel more at home in a place like this rather than somewhere with younger generations.
The game itself is another reason why the elderly so love it. It is a traditional game that has classic operations and rules. Most people have actually played this particular game in their communities for most of their adult life. Change for the elderly is not always a good thing. They enjoy a routine that is nice and fun for them. And of course, if they have memories attached to the game from people past, it is even more special to them. And then there is the money. No matter how old you are, the idea of winning money of any amount is something that people like. You don't often win a fortune playing bingo, but elderly people come home happy if they won $20 more dollars at this activity that they enjoy. And if the money is more, well, there's nothing wrong with that either. Sometimes, bingo jackpots can take you up over $100 in prize money.
If you are wondering why in the world the elderly people in your town love to spend their Friday or Saturday nights going to bingo and sitting around playing a game that you could not possibly find interesting, it is pretty obvious. And bingo halls know that older people are generally what will be coming to the games they hold, so they very much cater to the mood of the elderly. It is the perfect pastime for senior citizens. It keeps them going out and socializing like everyone needs, but also lets them not get too active because they really can't. The game is simple and classic, and the money that can be won doesn't hurt the situation, either.
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