The day that my fiancé’s grandmother turned 90, the last thing I expected was to find her Wii bowling in the party room of her retirement home. But as it turns out, Grannie is quite the gamer’and she’s not alone.
While the Nintendo Wii line of sports and fitness games have become an instant hit with kids, teens and adults alike, they’re also providing an important opportunity for elderly people to stay active, have fun and spend time socializing with each other. In fact, seniors across Canada have embraced this new gaming technology so much that they’re organizing Wii game nights and even forming their own Wii bowling leagues’not to mention schooling their grandkids at tennis and golf.
Aside from the physical value of interactive gaming, seniors also experience psychological benefits, according to Denise Kelly, Captain of Relationships and Community Care for the BC branch of Nurse Next Door, an organization that specializes in providing home health care to the elderly. "From my experience, playing video games for Wii encourages an active lifestyle for seniors while having fun, which lifts their spirits and gives them a great sense of confidence, and vitality," said Kelly in a press release. It also gives grandparents a unique chance to bond with younger family members and bridge that sometimes-awkward generation gap.
Senior gamers now have even more activities to choose from, thanks to the release of Wii Sports Resort ($60), a fun-in-the-sun-themed game that includes sports like wakeboarding, Frisbee and table tennis.
I think I may have just found Grannie’s next birthday gift’