Active Adults: Video Game Therapy Helps Residents at Nursing Home

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Created: 7/16/2007 9:01:37 AM
Last updated: 7/16/2007 9:03:54 AM

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By Heidi Glaus

KSDK – Like it or not, getting old is a fact of life. But there are places that make the process a little easier.Advertisement

Just ask Mike Altobella the Executive Director at Cedar Ridge Nursing Home in Lebanon, Illinois.

“We have an outdoor putting green, we have a greenhouse,” Altobella explains.

After only a few minutes with the residents you start to see what he’s talking about.

“I’ve only been in one other nursing home and there’s no comparison,” says three year resident Beryl Patterson.

Maybe that’s because this is a place with different approach.

“A nursing home isn’t your final destination, it’s a continuation and it can be fun and enjoyable and stimulating,” Altobella says.

You see here not only do they do physical,
occupational and speech therapy, they’ve also added Wii therepy.

Not we, as in you and me, but Wii as in the newest Nintendo game system you might have assumed was for kids.

But as much as this looks like nothing but fun, there are actually more benefits than being able to relate to their grandchildren.

“It gives you good workout,” Altobella says. “It’s good for things like balance and range of motion.”

“They make you think and then just to move,” Patterson says. “I realized the strikes weren’t coming because I wasn’t throwing the ball hard enough.”

Sometimes this game helps them get their fighting ability back.

“You can see someone in a wheelchair and they can play tennis again, they can play baseball, there’s a million possibilites,” Altobella says.

They also have an opportunity to play a few games that to some are more exciting than bingo.

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