When ten year old Lorenzo Little noticed that senior citizens in an assisted living in his neighborhood seemed to be bored, he determined to do some fundraisers to buy them Wii systems. To date Lorenzo has raised money and purchased two Wii systems for local seniors and is working on the third. The Nintendo Wii System is that fun game device that allows you to play virtual tennis, golf, bowling and other active games. In fact many senior centers are forming virtual bowling teams and the competition is fierce.
Why the excitement? Well the Wii games are fun for all ages, but for seniors it offers a chance to enjoy the fun of gaming competition from the comfort of their own homes or
gathering places. And, even though Wii games are simulations, there is still a fair amount of movement involved and seniors can get a good workout while playing.
Some thirty million Wii units have been sold in the US alone. That number should speak for itself—it must be fun to play! And not only are the games enjoyable, there is new evidence out that the games and especially the Wii Fit program encourage healthy movement and stretching while playing that are a real benefit to often inactive seniors.
Some newer offerings by the Wii company are Sports Resort which has twelve mini-games, Wii Fit Plus with the option of tracking weight loss over a period of time and the Big Brain Academy which offers games involving mathematics, language and logic to keep senior minds active and alert. In Sports Resort there are fun choices such as swordplay, archery, Frisbee and even basketball. All these games develop eye-hand coordination and are very motivating.
Although some seniors are hesitant at first to try the Wii, they are soon clamoring for their turns and even asking family members to buy them their own game. In some cases senior centers are conducting full scale Wii tournaments complete with trophies. And though there are lots of Wii choices, the biggest favorite among the senior set by far is Wii bowling.
So if you’re looking for the perfect gift for your seniors with the most get up and go, don’t look any farther than your nearest Wii outlet. You’ll find that you’ll want to join in the fun as well. A Wii system includes a game system costing about $250 and you’ll need to budget for additional costs of the games themselves and hand-held controls. But just think of the benefits. Your senior will be getting great practice in movement, stretching and maintaining balance. And he or she will be getting all this good exercise while having a great deal of fun to boot.