Healthy Ageing is in the Cards!

Ageing is inevitable, but “senior moments” are not, and a great way to combat cognitive decline is to play Bridge. For many years Bridge has been lauded for seniors’ wellbeing as it combines problem solving skills, the satisfaction of competition, and engaging social interaction, providing an engaging pastime to grow your social circle, and keep your brain active.

Bridge’s intricacies make it particularly appealing for those who want to sharpen their mental acuity. A study in 2000 at the University of California, Berkeley, found strong evidence that an area in the brain used while playing Bridge stimulates the immune system and increases perspicacity. Researchers suggest this is because players must use memory, visualization, and sequencing skills in concert.

In the 1930’s Bridge was front page news. Cards were an easy, inexpensive, and engaging way to fill time.   At that time everyone in every age group knew how  to play Bridge. Although the numbers of players have declined over the decades, and most are now over 60 years of age, there are still 250 registered Bridge clubs in NSW as well as thousands of folks playing regular rounds of Bridge at home with friends.

Seniors who have taken up Bridge and made it part  of their weekly routine report a positive change in  declining short-term memory and greater capacity to problem solve. Regular play has also been reported to combat depression and increase social activity, as it is a shared game requiring four people to play, and in fact has  a rich social component as  partners learn to read each other’s signals, play to their strengths, and compensate for their partners weaknesses.

COA Sydney has held a rousing game of Bridge every week for the past 20 years. As many other small group activities have waxed and waned, Bridge has remained a staple of the weekly program of activities on offer at the COA Centre in Rowe St Woollahra, with COA members playing even during COVID by using an online Bridge program on tablets and remaining socially distanced during play.

As of October COA’s Bridge game is moving from its traditional Friday morning slot to Thursdays from 1-3pm. This move is due to the success of the U3A Eastern Suburbs lecture series which takes place on Fridays at the COA Centre from 10:30 to midday.  Moving the Bridge Club to Thursday will allow members to attend both the Bridge and U3A lectures without having to sacrifice one activity for another.

If you are a skilled player, COA invites you to join the gang and enjoy the comradery of a regular Bridge game. And if you are new to the game, have no fear, COA’s volunteer conveyors are waiting to teach you the skills you need to start your journey into healthy ageing through Bridge.

Share this page

Scroll to Top