The game of Bingo that is such a favourite across the UK in its traditional form, and now equally so in its online form, turned out to be just what the doctor ordered for Jill Gemmell, a 67-year-old pensioner from Derby.
Bingo Aids Mental Health
Jill had suffered from severe depression but thanks to this pure numbers game and the help of a dear friend, she has recovered and is now back and active in her community. She started playing bingo at the local club at the urging of her friends.
“I was very down and rarely left the house,” Jill reminisced. “Then a friend of mine took me along to one of the bingo sessions and I loved it. I joined in more and more and, when one of the committee members resigned, I offered to step in.”Jill – Bingo Player at Alvaston & Boulton Old Peoples Welfare Club
Now Jill is on the committee of the Alvaston and Boulton Old People’s Welfare Club in Derby which has bingo games on Tuesdays and Thursdays and has coffee mornings and sessions in the week for its 100 odd members.
Though it is so heartening to hear stories like Jill’s, it is still a reality that many bingo clubs like this one in Derby face closure.
There is a campaign to prevent such closures and keep these clubs going so older people have continued access to them.
The Department of Health has stressed the importance of Bingo clubs for the elderly population.
John Bolton, Finance Chief for Social Care for the Department of Health stressed that it is imperative to allow older people to budget their money and not offer tailored facilities, thus allowing them to incorporate aspects of their past lives, including their bingo playing habits.
“Older people, in particular, want to go back and enjoy the things they achieved before they became frail,” said Bolton at a recent conference.John Bolton – Department of Health
Research has proven that regular sessions of playing bingo do help in keeping diseases like dementia at bay, not to mention heightening the quality of life for bingo players.
Playing moderate amounts of bingo whether online or at a local club is good for health.