Play the Wii

Just for the record, I have never been to Duxbury, England or its senior center, so please don’t consider this an endorsement of their program.


I’m sure that you’ve heard that Nintendo’s Wii, where you control movement on-screen with your movements, rather than punching buttons, is the new hot thing for older adults.  But what you may not know is that it’s great for those with memory loss as well.  The intuitive controls and games that rely on long-term memory, such as bowling, tennis, or boxing make it perfect for this group. 

Now I”m not saying you should go out and buy an expensive gaming system, but ask around and see if anyone you know has one (it shouldn’t be hard to find someone) and give it a trial run.  The best games are simple ones, like the starter “Wii Sports” game that comes with Wii when you buy it.  Expect to spend a few minutes teaching how to use the control for each game, but don’t be surprised if after a few turns, your loved one gets the hang of it and doesn’t need-or want-your help anymore!

Those in the moderate stages of the disease might need some reminders throughout the game, but it shouldn’t be enough to be frustrating.  If it is, try playing “hand over hand” where your hand guides theirs.  If even that’s too much, try letting them watch as others play.  Often even just the silly movements the players make and how “into” the game they can get is more entertaining than what’s going on on-screen!



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