A Full House At Friends of the Elderly’s Wallingford Care Home When It Comes To Bingo!

At The Old Vicarage, the Wallingford-based residential and dementia care home run by charity, Friends of the Elderly, it’s eyes down for a ‘Full House’ for the residents as they celebrate this year’s National Bingo Day.

“Since 2021, 27th June has been formally recognised as National Bingo Day in the UK,” said Carol Bourne, the Registered Manager at The Old Vicarage. “Our residents thoroughly enjoy their regular Bingo! afternoons, so we thought we’d ‘Bang The Drum’ and make ‘Time for Fun’ to celebrate the day’s fourth anniversary.”

National Bingo Day is a day devoted to celebrating the fun game of Bingo, and the residents at The Old Vicarage definitely love their weekly Bingo! afternoons. “We have been playing Bingo! with the residents and respite guests for years,” continued Carol. “I’d have to say it is one of most popular – if not the most popular – activities we put on.”

Playing Bingo! is a great pastime for older people, especially those living with dementia. Playing and engaging with the game can sharpen stimulate mental agility,  brain functions and improve hand to eye coordination

“Our Bingo! sessions are always noisy, and can get rather competitive,” added Carol. “They are great fun. When Diana Deskiewicz, our Activities Coordinator, calls out the numbers, she makes sure she speaks clearly, slowly and loudly so all the residents and respite guests hear the numbers clearly and have time to get their ‘Dabbers’ dabbing.

“I host a range of different Bingo! games in each session,” said Diana. “We play One Line, Two Lines and, of course, the Full House. My favourite Bingo Calls are ‘Valentine’s Day’ which is number 14 which usually gets a ‘Woo Woo’ cheer from the residents and ‘Brighton Line’ for number 59 to which everyone makes train whistle noises. That always gets everyone laughing.”

It’s wonderful to see our residents and respite guests so engaged and motivated when they are enjoying their Bingo! games – especially their Bingo! sessions on National Bingo Day.”

“The residents and respite clients are in good company with their love of Bingo!” Carol continued. “I read that Robbie Williams is a huge fan of the game and even featured a Bingo Hall in the video for his song Feel,” Carol added.

However, Robbie Williams isn’t the most famous person to enjoy a game of Bingo! 

“HRH The Prince of Wales has shared his love of the game. He used to sneak out of Sandhurst to play in the local bingo hall. HRH The Princess of Wales joined him for a game at a nursing home once that took place over Zoom during the Covid Pandemic. I wonder if they called ‘Palace’ instead of ‘House’ as I also read that The late Queen Elizabeth, who was Friends of the Elderly’s Royal Patron, apparently called ‘Palace’ rather than ‘House’, so our residents are definitely in good company,”concluded Carol.