You're never too old to play
From Spotlight on Health July/Aug. 2008
Residents enjoy new rec-Wii-ation
Watch out, Tiger Woods. Golf pros are
flourishing at St. Benedict’s Senior Community.
Since purchasing Nintendo’s® Wii™ (pronounced “we”) video game console for recreational therapy,
St. Benedict’s Senior Community has turned sports
fans into video game enthusiasts.
Resident Ernest Gunderson
was excited when a second
Wii™ system was installed
on his floor. Gunderson, who
was on a bowling league for
10 years, has embraced the
new electronic gaming.
“Now I will really be able
to practice,” Gunderson
encourage users to
twist, turn and
become just as active
as the characters on the screen while
playing golf, baseball
or boxing. Whether
players are completely
mobile or in
wheelchairs, they can
swing the “Wiimote” like a tennis racquet or
mimic the motion of rolling a bowling ball
down the lane. Sounds enhance the appeal by
imitating the game in progress, sounding like
real pins falling down.
“It’s good exercise for your body and a great
way to stimulate your mind,” said Betsy
Horsch, director of Therapeutic Recreation
at St. Benedict’s Senior Community.
Besides the Wii™ in the Care Center, the
St. Cloud campus also has Wii™ at Benedict
Court, the assisted living apartments, and one
in the Memory Loss Unit. St. Cloud Hospital
Adult Rehabilitation also is using the Wii™ as
part of its program.
“This computer game gives residents with
memory loss the opportunity to do the things
they love — even with physical limitations,”
said Barb Smith, clinical unit manager for the
Memory Loss Unit. “This is not a computer
system where only the fingers move. The
person needs to swing arms, flex elbows, use
wrists, and with some games, move their whole
body to play.”
“We want our residents to remain active with
both their minds and bodies and thought the
Wii™ would be a great addition to our
facility,” said Angie Rangel, director of
In Monticello, Wii™ is part of the
entertainment in the new Club Room at
The Village, the independent retirement living
apartments. With the big screen TV, Wii™
is good competition for the more traditional
games of pool or cards.
“The name Wii™ is perfect as I am now
asking CentraCare Health Foundation for a ‘wee’ bit of money to buy some accessories,”
Smith said. The four Wii™ systems were made
possible by generous gifts from the residents’
friends and families through the CentraCare
Learn more about St. Benedict's Senior Community.