Federal Grant Helps MSU Launch Bingocize
The Mississippi State University this week announced plans for introducing a special Bingo exercise project that will help residents at about two dozen nursing homes increase both their physical activity and social interaction. Originally developed by researchers at Western Kentucky University, Bingocize will be funded by a $360,928 federal grant and will be led and managed by 200 Mississippi university students spanning a period of three years.
The project will involve residents beginning each Bingocize session seated at a table with their Bingo cards. They will then be prompted to complete a session of gentle exercises as the Bingo numbers are called. This pattern of movement and calls will then continue until a player wins the game.
A Two-Tiered Approach
The project’s main aim will be to improve the levels of physical activity of older adults while enjoying the social interaction and engagement made possible by Bingo, explained Zhujun Pan, who is the project’s leader and an assistant professor of kinesiology at Mississippi State University.
The secondary aim will be for the project to help build strong and lasting community partnerships between members of staff and students at the university and state-certified nursing homes in Mississippi, said Pan. Bingocize is an activity that combines social interaction with physical movement, and according to the kinesiologist, the combination of these elements is crucial for the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of nursing home residents.
Pan added that an activity like Bingocize is especially important during times of social distancing and managed isolation.
People Need A Game Like Bingo
Bingo has emerged a lifesaver for many senior citizens during periods of shelter-in-place orders and general social distancing.
Living in an era of social distancing can be especially challenging to senior citizens says Dr. Ria Paul, a geriatrician at Stanford Health Care in the U.K. According to Paul, the best thing any older adult could be doing right now is to bunker down and take care of their physical and mental health while remaining put in their respective homes or nursing homes.
But Paul also concedes that this type of lifestyle comes with its own set of challenges, which is why an activity such as Bingocize, which helps seniors boost their immune systems by keeping in motion while enjoying the mental health benefits of social engagement, is so important during this time.
Bingo has been helping folks deal with a new and isolating reality ever since the crisis first hit full force in March last year, and Bingocize is just one of the many ways in which the game is making a real difference in the lives of the vulnerable and elderly.