Nursing Home Residents Use Wii Video Game System for Rehabilitation

Several nursing homes and senior assisted living facilities are using the Nintendo Wii video game system in their physical and occupational therapy programs.

The idea is to provide a fun way to encourage patients at the nursing home to get moving again.

For example, therapists asked one resident to try the Wii bowling game to increase his upper body strength. He's since moved on to Wii golf and Wii boxing. He plays about an hour a day and says the exercise has helped him a lot.

"It's just fun," one resident said. "It's a lot of fun to play."
"It's something different to try and it's good to get out of the therapy room to try something new," another resident commented.

"We read about it in one of our therapy magazines and we thought it would be something neat to try with our residents," an occupational therapist said. She said she has between 6-10 people using the Wii on a regular basis. She said the residents can use the Wii during therapy but can also use it for recreation whenever they want.

She said the residents can choose from bowling, tennis, baseball, golf and boxing but they seem to enjoy the bowling and tennis the most.

"It helps improve movement in their wrists and hands, it helps movement in their arms, it helps with balance and hand-eye coordination. Plus they have a lot of fun while they're doing it," she said.

A certified occupational therapist at the nursing home says residents look forward to therapy now that they have a new and fun way to exercise. For more on this innovative program, read the story and see another story.

I think that the Nintendo Wii system is a great and fun way to stimulate nursing home residents and help them with rehabilitation. I commend this nursing home for using this technology for its residents.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.