Wii fires up seniors’ competitive spirit

A donation through the Phoenix Foundation has allowed for a new sort of gaming for residents at Abbeyfield Centennial House.

Abbeyfield Centennial House resident Edna Robertson usually joins the weekly Nintendo Wii bowling matches. Athena Szabo has been teaching residents how to use the Wii.

Abbeyfield Centennial House resident Edna Robertson usually joins the weekly Nintendo Wii bowling matches. Athena Szabo has been teaching residents how to use the Wii.

A donation through the Phoenix Foundation has allowed for a new sort of gaming for residents at Abbeyfield Centennial House.

The funds came from a dividend payment received on bequest of the estate of Phyllis Acres, which was held at the Phoenix Foundation.

The residents now have a Nintendo Wii, which because it is played through movement of the control also gives a bit of active element to the video game system.

The residents gather once a week to play the game, sticking to virtual bowling.

“That’s pretty well all we play, just the bowling,” says resident Joan Biggs. “I like it very much, it’s lots of fun. It’s a change from just sitting in your room, you know.”

Biggs says she plans to keep playing the Wii.

Bea Chapman, another resident at Abbeyfield, says she isn’t really interested in playing the game and so just watches.

“I rode horses for 12 years, “ Chapman says. “So I don’t need to do activities anymore.” She laughs.

Athena Szabo volunteers and helps set the games up, though the residents seem to have no trouble getting into the bowling simulation.

Szabo says she wanted to  start volunteering since November and so started at Abbeyfield once a week.

“It’s been a lot of fun, I really got into this,” she says.

Donna Caruso, house co-ordinator at Abbeyfield, says the Wii has been something that everyone there is enjoying.

“A couple of them had the idea about it, I think they saw it at their children’s homes or something,” Caruso says. “Most of them didn’t have any idea what the game was but (Szabo) is a good teacher, she’s very patient.”

Abbeyfield President Ron Mellett says that it is beneficial because it adds another activity to the list of things they can do.

“It’s something to do; entertainment,” Mellett says.

“It keeps alive their competitive spirit too.”