Technology Therapy

Did you realise that patients in Ireland are set to get technical? The Nintendo Wii, the home video game console, is now being used as part of a new innovative programme to help patients recover from strokes. Patients are having fun while enjoying a form of therapy that helps them to build balance, coordination and endurance.

ninento-wiiTherapists at the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit in Baggot Street Community Hospital have begun using the Nintendo Wii game console with their patients to compliment regular therapy. Potential benefits for this group of patients include increased hand function, balance, reaction times and processing skills. It’s proving very popular amongst the patients because it’s interactive and there’s a competitive element involved.


Many nursing homes in the US are already using Wii technology as a form of therapy and recreation. A lot of older people have limited mobility and the Wii provides entertainment as well as physical rehabilitation. It also helps pensioners remember activities that they used to enjoy a lot when they were functioning in their community.

This begs the question as to why Irish nursing homes are failing to make proper use of technology? It’s makes utter sense to encourage older people to use technology as a form of therapy. Let’s face it, anything’s got to be better than staring into space all day long!

7 Responses to Technology Therapy

  1. ggw_bach says:

    it gets the brain working … manipulating images, concepts, presenting puzzles. My grandmother could do with a DS or Wii!!

  2. Baino says:

    I think there’s a DS game that keeps your mind active too. Mind you my only attempts at Wii tennis have given me a sore shoulder!

  3. Steph says:

    ggw – Hello and welcome. If the Wii can be used to rehabilitate stroke patients, then I’m certain that it could also be integrated into nursing home care. There must be many people in full-time care who would benefit greatly from the challenge offered by technology like the Wii.

    Baino – I’ve not got my hands on a Wii as yet but I reckon if pensioners can master it, then so could I. It seems to me that the Wii is an ideal way to keep OAP minds active especially when their bodies are failing them.

  4. Grannymar says:

    I wii’d once and it told me I was 38!:roll:

    Me likey! 😀

  5. Steph says:

    Grannymar – I think it’s time you wii’d again 😉

  6. […] The bioposy report has a very interesting article on the use of Technology in the nursing home sector. Kinda reminds me of a CSR programme that Intel was involved in last year in Ryevale Nursing home. Part of their Technolgy programme involves the use of an aptly named ‘Snoozelan’. This treatment increases patient reception to treatment, increases communication between caregiver and patient and reinforces trust between caregivers and those in their charge.  Anyway have a read over on below for the beginning of the bioposy report.. […]

  7. handbiofeedback says:

    Reference upper extremity fine motor rehabilitation, it is important that a dedicated rehabilitation system like the HandTutorsystem is used. Rehabilitation using the Wii does not take into account the problem of the patient implementing a compensatory movement pattern in order to achieve the Wii task. In addition the Wii does not exercise fine motor movements.

    The Wii is a form of task specific training. One important factor in task orientated traditional training is the proprioception tactile feedback path information that the patient receives from the object during and after the task. This infomation is missing from the Wii and other from more expensive virtual reality systems. This task orientated feedback ensures that the patient learns to correct their movement pattern planning and implementation again ensuring that a compensatory movement pattern does not result.

    Training with the HandTutor works on all motor and sensory movement impairments and provides active isolated and interjoint finger and wrist movement practice. The HandTutor is a rehabilitation glove and software which offers impairment oriented training and augmented feedback. The HandTutor encourages active repetitive customized isolated or inter joint coordinated finger and wrist hand exercises and rehabilitates fine movements of the hand and wrist.

    On a practical treatment aspect, many patients do not have sufficient movement ability to enable them to do repetitive active tasks or the active tasks can not be customized to work on their specific motor, sensory or cognitive impairment.

    Upper extremity hand rehabilitation using the HandTutor will ensure that the patient improves fine motor functional ability which is essential for completing upper extremity/ limb Active Daily Living tasks.

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