Has anyone used Wii and the Wii fit for balance improvement....does it work ?

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In addition is there such a program where you "walk" on the Wii board and you can take a your or the like.

Lastly...what programs do to use and
Why ?

Thank you

Answers 1 to 9 of 9
Top Answer
Our local senior center has Wii. I don't know about their walking or balance improvement programs, but the seniors at the center love the bowling program. Many are signed up. They even have bowling competitions between the senior centers. It is rather heart-warming to see a bus load of seniors arrive to face their bowling adversaries. It is all good fun.
I wouldn't do it w/o supervision with someone who is prone to falls from balance issues. If they've had a brain scan and the Neurologist gives the OK, then it may be helpful. If not I would proceed with caution.
I second kitty1854's advice. I do balance classes with seniors and the easiest way to start is to stand behind a chair and try not to put your hands on the chair (if they can). If they sway a lot, stay here. If that is easy, progress (as with the next modifications I will give):

-have them close their eyes (taking away a sense like sight makes them have to focus much more)
-open eyes, lift one leg up slightly, switching legs after holding for 20-60 seconds
-after holding one legged pose for an amount of time, have them squat down a little bit. Make sure you have them push their hips back like they are sitting in a chair, WITHOUT pointing their knees over their toes!!
-modified tree pose (yoga move) If you want more info on this let me know.

You can also work with instability equipment like a bosu ball, wobble disk, stability ball, or something like it. I have found the most improvement without equipment at first. Plus, it's free! :)

I would additionally have them practice chair stands, trying to easily stand without using their hands to help them up. Again, have their feet out far enough so there is a 90 degree angle and their knees don't push over their toes. The better their alignment the better their body will feel! Work on the form first, and then progressing slowly to use less and less hands to help them out.

Best of luck! :)
Any exercise that helps build strength is going to help with balance. Unless it's an ear problem, loss of balance is caused by loss of strength especially in the core. If the WII makes it more fun, go for it.
KeepontryinM. Can you elaborate? My Dad's has hearing loss- since he was in his early 20's. he falls a LOT! His gate therapist has him play a game of pool during his sessions. Clever! Do you hav either suggestions to build his sense of balance?
Sorry Xmart. I really don't know much about ear problems. Just exercise. I just know that old or young building strength helps balance.

The WII is so much fun, it's a great way to exercise. My Mom loves WII bowling. She sits in her wheel chair to do it. At least she's engaged in something. I wouldn't use the WII as exercise, just something fun to do.
I quit my job - retired early - to move back to my hometown to care for my mid-level alzheimers mother. I regret none of it. I did not see the blessing when in the midst of the caregiving - it was challenging and stressful beyond measure - but on the other side, I gave my mother's last two years so much more life and joy and validation than she ever would have had, had I not been there. So in retrospect - yes I am forever grateful for being here. My mom had a stroke and was in a nursing home the last six months of her life - due to her alzheimers she thought she was at home, we had wonderful times of quiet and loving and closure during those six months. They were beautifully priceless. And miracle of miracles I found, in my hometown, my next lifepath (yoga teacher) and wonderful new lifetime friends. But as a sharing to you, you must find an outlet for yourself - a group, friends, yoga or excercise - you must find time away from the caregiving. It is beyond essential - or you will lose yourself. I hope that you have that option to do so. IF you can't get a caregiver, perhaps a neighbor or friends will give you certain half days or hours per week that you can consistantly count on. Do it for you! And for your parent - for in your time away you will regain patience and understanding which is so vital in all that you give to your parent. My very best to you.
I have been doing much research on the subject.
Many pt departments use them now. Look on
YouTube for video on how they are used.
For the person with dizziness:
Using the Wii for vestibular rehabilitation.

"vestibular rehabilitation using the nintendo Wii balance board"

Take a look....good luck
My husband's neuro physical therapist uses Wii. The patients enjoy it and there is improvement. However, if you are going to try this at home, use caution for sure. I would not let a person who has balance or weakness problems alone while doing anything like this. It would be great if someone came up with a "surround" of some type that the patient could step into and onto the balance board for the Wii. Unfortunately, like everything else, these systems aren't cheap and the normal senior household on a fixed income can't afford it or the games. If someone did come up with a surround which would keep the patient safe, the cost would probably be prohibitive, too. Sad, sad, sad....

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