Bingo and other card and board games have the potential to boost your brainpower. That’s according to research from psychologists at the University of Edinburgh, who conducted a nine-year-long trial of 1,000 people aged 70 to determine the impact of games like bingo on the cognitive capabilities of individuals as they get older.

The group were tested every three years until the age of 79 to measure whether their problem solving and cognitive speed had deteriorated over time. Interestingly, those who routinely enjoyed a session of bingo or classic board games like chess or even crossword puzzles fared considerably better in on memory and thinking tests than those who didn’t partake in any competitive games.

Women aged between 70 and 76 were statistically more likely to preserve their cognitive skills as they got older by playing games like bingo. Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, welcomed the findings of this recent study, suggesting that it reinforces the view that the “decline” of “thinking skills” as we grow older is by no means “inevitable”.

You may want to consider bingo as an alternative instead of doing a family quiz. There is nothing more demotivating for an elderly person than to continually lose at quizzes, either through a lack of recent knowledge or forgetfulness. At least with games like bingo, there is always a chance that they can win. With the emergence of technology, the experience can be done digitally as you play games together via the leading UK bingo sites. Most bingo rooms will even offer each of you a welcome bonus offer, giving you more opportunities to play bingo. This site even has information on what makes a good bingo site too.

There are plenty of other board games that you can enjoy with loved ones that can help improve everyone’s mood. Pictionary is one such game that can improve the hand-eye coordination of your parents and grandparents, whilst channelling their inner-Vincent van Gogh. The beauty of Pictionary is that you don’t have to be a great artist. Even those who are proud of their stick men and women can prevail in Pictionary – so long as your family are on the same wavelength as you!

You could even take it back to the old-school with a vintage game of charades. This Christmas favourite doesn’t have to be confined to the festive season – even though it’s fast approaching. It’s a game that everyone can get involved in whenever.

Another popular family card game that can work seamlessly is LINKEE. On the subject of cognitive speed, LINKEE is brilliant for older players as it requires them to think hard about the theme or word that links the answers to all four questions on each card. Even if everyone doesn’t have the game to hand, it’s possible to download the free online version giving everyone a chance to call out their guesses.

Bingo and board games really can have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of your loved ones and help build positive memories.

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