I got a Wii. Woo-hoo. A Christmas present. And guess what, instead of watching television all night and sitting on my a__ I burn at least some calories. And as I have observed in my nursing home travels and speaking engagements, Wii is all the rage with seniors. Califormia, no surprise, has taken it to new heights.
Last year, the Department of Aging and Adult Services in an Bernardino County, CA used a one-time grant from the state to purchase 36 Wii systems, one for every senior center in the county. It was classified as a disease prevention grant.
The countyÛªs Health Department has also developed ÛÏWii CanÛ classes for seniors, using a curriculum provided by an outside company. It includes doing some ÛÏregularÛ exercises and also incorporates Wii exercises. On the first day of the class, the participants have some basic information evaluated, i.e. waist circumference, blood pressure, etc. At the end of the class the participants are again evaluated to see if the class has had an impact.
Just today in the Charlotte Observer there was an article describing a self-defense class that was being done at a senior center teaching folks how to use their canes to ward off people. Much of the point though was that by simply moving their arms and legs they were getting some exercise and learning new skills. Oh yes and having fun.
I’m not here to advocate Wii though the Wii Fit stresses one thing in particular – balance. And that is a skill if mastered as you grow older will help prevent falls, fractures, hospitalizations and nursing home care.
So get off you keister and start exercising because Grandma and Grandpa are putting you to shame.