Benefits from 'Wii-habilitation'

Blue Care resident Les Watson tests himself with a Wii game.
Blue Care resident Les Watson tests himself with a Wii game. Christopher Chan

WHO knew playing video games could be good for you?

Senior citizens across Gladstone can now get fit and socialise without leaving their own lounge rooms.

Playing the Nintendo Wii can help prevent falls and promote healthy exercise for seniors.

Blue Care Edenvale has taken advantage of this idea, installing two donated Wii consoles in its facility.

Age is no barrier nor is physical capability and everyone at the aged care home is encouraged to participate.

Blue Care activities officer Leoni Messenger said the program was about encouraging healthy exercise for older people.

"It will help their independence and give them some exercise so they can get around," she said.

Ms Messenger said using the Wii would also provide another social element to their lives.

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren are able to join in the fun and the addition of the console aims to bring families together.

Blue Care activities officer Kaylena Hickton said the Wii could be used by anybody; no matter what their age or movement capabilities.

"With kids being interactive at least they can understand (the game) on the same level. You could be in a wheelchair and still have a go," Ms Hickton said.

"It is a good way to get people who wouldn't normally exercise to be active."

This method is not just limited to those who live at Blue Care; anyone can get active this way.

All that is required is a Wii console, a willing spirit, a few games and a partner to have a hit with.

"We encourage everyone to give it a go," Ms Messenger said.

Senior friendly games

Wii Fit plus - any games involving the balance board

Wii Fit - most popular among seniors for bowling, tennis, boxing and golf. These games are a great social activity.

Mario Kart - a fun game to play with children, great for families.

Karaoke Revolution - gives seniors the chance to showcase their musical prowess.

Wii Resort - similar to Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus; a great game to play for all ages.

Topics:  elderly gladstone health video games

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