Wii-habilitation benefits young and old

Tuesday, February 19th 2008, 10:48 am
By: News 9

By Darren Brown, News9.com INsite Team

About a month ago, it quietly moved into the Town Village Retirement Community in northwest Oklahoma City. Since then, residents say, Wednesday afternoons haven't been the same.

Once a week residents gather to get their game on -- virtually.

Alun Skitt, Town Village administrator, said the recent addition of a Nintendo Wii interactive gaming system has been a big hit.

"It's a fun game -- they like the golf, they like the bowling -- it's created some increased socialization in here," Skitt said. "It's helping people get out of their apartments and stay active."

Across town at Integris' Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital, vice president Sharon Smeltzer said doctors are excited about the Wii's potential.  "The industry as a whole has been doing research on this same technology for quite some time, " she said. 

Willie Hunt has been doing Wii-hab at Jim Thorpe since he suffered a stroke in early February.  He's an avid bowler these days -- virtually, of course.  "It does a lot for you, in your composure, and your posture, and your balance, " he said.   

Hunt said he hopes to have a Wii at his house soon.