Playing Bingo Is One Of The Best Ways To Improve Memory In Old Age

Saved By The Bell
Saved By The Bell

Can Bingo Help To Improve Cognitive Memory?

Not too long ago, researchers found out that mentally stimulating games such as Bingo and Chess can have a lot more value besides fun and leisure — those who played these games in their 70s were reported to have improved thinking.  This study was conducted by academics from the University of Edinburgh, who surveyed a total of 1091 participants born in 1939. The participants were assessed on their general cognitive functions at specific age levels: at 11, 70, 73, 76, and 79. The subsequent results were found to uncover a significant link between bingo games and improved memory, even amongst those participants who only took up the game in their 70s. These benefits included a higher thinking skill, improved memory, faster speed of thinking, and sharpened concentration.

Such results are especially crucial in the research and creation of mentally stimulating games for the elderly. Dr. Drew Altschul, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language, stresses that playing non-digital games for seniors in their 70s can lead to positive mental stimulation and reduced cognitive decline. Moreover, Professor Ian Deary, Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, emphasizes the importance of pinpointing the type of activities that helps to improve senior’s cognitive abilities whilst aging. He adds that being physically fit and refraining from smoking are other non-related aspects that can further improve cognitive aging in seniors. 

Those with mobility issues don’t have to miss out either – there are great online sites that will tell you where to play online.

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Forgetfulness and Memory Loss

Forgetfulness in old-age memory loss is a common problem faced by seniors. As we get older, bodily changes (yes, including that of the brain!) begin to occur throughout our bodies. Our brains contain many nerve fibers which carry essential nerve signals between brain cells, that help our brain to carry out certain tasks. As our nerve cells shrink with age, it is inevitable that forgetfulness and memory loss will set in. People may begin to face difficulties in recalling names and numbers, are unable or take a longer duration to pick up new things, and could even lose their day-to-day items more easily. 

Caroline Abrahams, the Charity Director at Age UK, remarked that the results of the study done by the academics at the University of Edinburgh were inspiring. Though aging will ultimately lead to a decline in cognitive skills, there are always ways and means to slow down this process. For example, utilizing the link between seniors playing non-digital and board games and sharpened memory skills can help protect ourselves and our cognitive health whilst aging. Seniors who played games that required them to actively search for words, such as Scrabble or Scramble, were reported to have improved word recognition, increased vocabulary, and reduced memory loss. On the other hand, those who engaged in cognitive exercises through board games and Sudoku puzzles were less likely to develop dementia than those who were not. 

Engaging in games can not only bring entertainment and quality companionship to the players, but they also can vastly improve seniors’ quality of life and cognitive abilities. Plus, it doesn’t need to be an individual journey, either. Grab your grandpa, grandma, aunt, and uncle a bingo game, and have fun — staying sharp can be a family affair! 

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Which Bingo Game Should I Choose?

With a multitude of bingo games available online, which one should you go for, to best improve your brainpower? Traditionally, the 90-ball bingo game is the most popular by far and can be found on virtually any bingo site on the Internet. The game consists of each bingo ticket containing 15 numbers ranging from 1 to 90, in a total of 9 columns. As the numbers are drawn, players who have the respective numbers will then cross them out. Whilst the game progresses, players are then able to clinch prizes by striking off numbers and completing horizontal lines. The prizes increase in value as the player completes one-line, two-lines, and a full house. 

Another great alternative is the 75-ball bingo game. There are two variations of 75-ball bingo games: the patterned and 5-line bingo. For the patterned bingo variation, not only are you required to concentrate on the numbers being drawn, but you also need to match the pattern being displayed to win a prize. On the other hand, the 5-line bingo variation consists of numbers from 1 to 75 across 5 lines, which allows players the opportunity to win a total of 5 prizes. Plus, if you happen to miss a number, don’t panic! The mechanics of the 75-ball bingo allows you to pick up where you left off, even if you miss out a number (or ten)!

If you’re up for a challenge, you can attempt game multitasking — why stick to one game when you can play two? Though bingo operators such as Tombola and Bet365 allow players to switch between two rooms at once, we wouldn’t recommend manually toggling between rooms on the same mobile device. Instead, why not try out the user-friendly mobile app designed by Mecca Bingo and Buzz Bingo? If you do decide to play between two rooms, the top of your mobile screen would automatically update after each call to reflect how many numbers you need for each room. Plus, if you’re more comfortable playing this on a desktop, try minimizing your browser to fill half the screen. Then, open a new tab and position them side to side — and voila! You’re able to watch the games play out at the same time. 


Bingo and other board games have since become a mainstay activity for seniors in residential care facilities, community centers, church groups, and more. Research and observation have concluded that bingo can improve senior cognitive ability in terms of memory, orientation, language, thinking, and a decreased risk of dementia. Nevertheless, as bingo brings increased enjoyment and happiness to these seniors, it also has remarkably increased the interactions between players. Hence, we highly recommend bingo or other board games to be adopted as an activity when conducting socialization amongst seniors.