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Why Bingo is Actually Good for You

Updated on October 19, 2009

We’ve all heard the stereotype about old people and bingo.  Admit it – you dread the day that bingo becomes all you have to look forward to in your sad, empty life.  You might think bingo is synonymous with death – because if bingo is your life’s purpose mightn’t you just as well be dead?

But what if bingo is not the end of life?  What if it’s a joyful part of a different phase in your life?

I have worked in Assisted Living for five years and believe me, there was a time when I hated bingo as much as anyone else.  What I could never figure out was how bingo – the very bane of my existence as an Activity Director – could be so loved by my residents?  After all, the greatest sin in the Activity Department is to cancel a game of bingo.  This game is every bit as vital to a healthy assisted living community as the quality of the food.  But why?  What I’m about to say may shock you…

Bingo is actually good for you.

I know, I know.  It’s hard to believe.  But hear me out. 

If you are reading this article and agree with what I’ve said so far, chances are you’re still healthy enough to lead a full life outside an Assisted Living facility.  You are actively involved with friends and family.  You work or volunteer.  You have hobbies and, thanks to your sharp mental faculties, you are capable of enjoying them.  You don’t need bingo to enhance your quality of life because the quality of your life is just fine the way it is.  But many residents in Assisted Living do need bingo.

This is why:


If you’ve ever sat in on a bingo game in Assisted Living, you may have noticed the laughter in the eyes of the players.  They are having a ball.  For older people this is essential to good health.  Laughter, often called the best medicine, reduces stress and boosts the immune system.

Something to Look Forward To

Like laughter, having something in life to look forward to is a great stress reducer and booster of the immune system.  People who have something to look forward to – even if it’s bingo – are less likely to suffer from depression or fall ill.


Life purpose is crucial to happiness.  Without something to work for many of us would feel adrift on a sea of hopelessness.  Unfortunately, as we grow older we often lose our purpose.  Children become adults and don’t need us anymore.  We retire from our jobs.  We might lose our spouses or our driver’s licenses.  Bingo gives purpose back to many people in Assisted Living.  It gives them something to work at and win.  Many save their winnings (usually candy or quarters) and dole them out to visiting grandchildren.  There is no greater purpose in the life of a grandparent than to appear magical to a beloved child.

Social Well-Being

Bingo brings people together.  Many residents who refuse to leave their rooms for exercise, music or meals will still come to bingo.  This social aspect, often overlooked, is probably one of the game’s greatest benefits to an Assisted Living community.  It allows people to stay connected and gives them a sense of belonging.

Brain Fitness

Believe it or not, bingo is actually good for your brain.  It allows you to flex your concentration muscle and stimulates hand-eye coordination.  Also, according to the University of Southampton’s psychology department, bingo players are faster and more accurate than non-bingo players in tests that measure memory, mental speed and ability to absorb and retain certain kinds of information.  Bingo is more than just fun and games after all.

Maybe it’s time that we cut bingo a little slack.  When you consider the benefits for older people you have to admit it’s a worthwhile venture.  Nobody is saying YOU have to play.  But, then again, it might not be such a bad idea.


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    • profile image

      Bingo Babe 6 years ago

      I play a lot of bingo and i agree that it has a bad stereotype from those that don't play. However the benefits are amazing. There are so many. Particularly the community and social aspects of the game.

    • profile image

      Milly Jones 6 years ago

      I have always thought that Bingo was good for you! I enjoy it and always have. :)

    • profile image

      Malcolm 7 years ago

      Wow, Bingo is good for your brain, that's a new one. I only started playing online Bingo after winning £500 online with Therefore, I should keep playing who knows I might be smart enough to stop losing. Lol

    • profile image

      sue12lam21 7 years ago

      I go to bingo on a wednesday night it gets me uot the house. Bingo is a great place to go and to communicate with other people of my age group 55+ we aldo get younger crowd coming in which is great.

    • profile image

      ami  7 years ago

      bingo is a good place to go and communicate with others and to get to meet other people expecially for me since my huband dies i have been lonley.

    • profile image

      Online Bingo For Money 7 years ago

      Why would anyone play online bingo for money? This is the sort of question that groups of anti gambling folk have been asking for years.

      It's a good question that deserves answering properly. Bingo can be played for anything, it doesn't need to be money but when it is the game seems to get a whole lot more exciting!

    • profile image

      Bingo Prizes 7 years ago

      There is no other page which exists on the net purely to inform players where they can win the best bingo prizes available. Each time we hear of a new prize being offered we update this page.

    • aksana777 profile image

      aksana777 7 years ago

      thanks, very interesting hub, I also like bingo

    • profile image

      bingo betting 7 years ago

      You know what i love bingo! i'm only 23! hehe, great bingo hub :)

    • profile image

      sporting previews 7 years ago

      I too enjoy the game of bingo quite often. I like playing both 75 ball and 80 ball bingo games

    • profile image

      drewbador 7 years ago

      I sometimes tell visitors (tongue in cheek) that if we take BINGO off the calendar they yank our license. For whatever reason, on a per capita basis, there is nothing that draws 'em like BINGO

    • Epsilon5 profile image

      Epsilon5 8 years ago from Eastern Pennsylvania

      Excellent hub. I enjoy a good game of bingo every now and then; I'm glad that there are others who agree that it's not just an "old people thing".

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Fortunately, playing bingo is not associated with being old here in the Philippines. We usually hold bingo socials as part of fund raising activities.

      I agree, bingo is actually good for you!

    • chezfat profile image

      chezfat 8 years ago

      Having a purpose and a community of friends is instrumental to living longer healthier lives as we age. There have been a number of studies that have noted the positive effects of having a social outlet as we age. Often that outlet and purpose is family or a job but often it is friends and community involvement.

    • profile image

      suzabella 8 years ago

      As much as i wish we were stretching our aging brains more, I have to admit, the Residents are enjoying the laughter and commraderie. I like to play music ( 40's mostly)softly in the background to add to the enjoyment of the activity.

    • profile image

      adnetwork 8 years ago

      Thank you so much for the article. As an Activity Director (AD) we are always having to defend having bingo on the calendar. But try cancelling this activity & you could a riot on your hands. This article can & will be used by many AD's to support this beloved activity.