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OAP games for hi-tech workout


Residents at a Boughton care home have found a novel way of keeping fit and healthy — by spending their afternoons playing on the latest hi-tech video games console.

Bishops Court, on Tuxford Road, has been given a Nintendo Wii, something that is usually more favoured by teenagers.

The games console, which reacts to body motion, has proved a huge hit with residents and is almost as popular as more traditional games such as bingo, bridge and dominoes.

The console has a hand-held control that players use to control the actions of the character on screen.

The home’s manager, Mrs Ginny Bullock, said: “I’m very surprised with how quickly they have taken to it. It has been very popular.

“One of the residents comes in every day from her room and casts her zimmer frame to one side to play bowling.

“It brings them all together. It’s not a competition. It doesn’t matter if anyone misses.

“They have had a bit of exercise and it’s good for the mobility. It doesn’t matter if they cannot stand, they can sit in their wheelchair.”

Mrs Bullock said once a week around 20 residents got together in the lounge to play on the games console while enjoying a glass a sherry.

It is set up to use at all times and staff encourage the residents to try it.

Ten-pin bowling has proved to be the most popular game and Mrs Bullock believes it is because many of the residents played bowls when they were younger.

But Mrs Bullock said there had been a couple of mishaps when players, not used to the hand control, had let go and it hurtled towards the television.

Mrs Doris Crofts (81) who had a stroke four years ago, has quickly become one of the home’s top players.

She said: “I think it’s great. I had a stroke which affected the right hand side of my body just before I came here but I can still bowl.

“I think it’s good for exercising. It’s great to sit together.”

Despite having never played bowls, Mrs Bertha Cooper (91) knocked down nine of the ten pins on her first go.

“I thought it was lovely. I did quite well. I knocked nearly all of them down. I’m so pleased about that,” she said.

Mrs Peggy Lindley (89) said: “It’s the first time I’ve had a go. It was quite easy. It’s not just for young people, anyone can have a go.”

Mr Neil Nisbet (86) said: “I used to play bowls. It’s much the same as the real thing. It’s maybe a bit easier with the television. Anyone can play if you explain it to them properly.”

Bishops Court is one of many county council run homes in Nottinghamshire to have the games console.

A spokesman for the county council said: “The Wiis have been purchased for a number of reasons.

“As well as offering a form of gentle exercise for people with limited mobility, they also increase knowledge and use of modern technology, encourage teamwork, and improve fine motor and hand-eye co-ordination skills.

“Researchers also claim that the Wii helps to curb the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.”

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