KEENE VALLEY - The latest gift to the Keene Valley Neighborhood House is helping residents there to keep moving.
Thanks to a grant from the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Foundation, the assisted living facility purchased two Nintendo Wii video game consoles Oct. 15 complete with accessories and Wii Fit platforms.
"We're going to incorporate them into our regular activities," said Beth Davis, development coordinator for KVNH.
The gaming systems have state-of-the-art motion detection controllers that allow players to use actual body movement to manipulate the game.
"It takes a little time to get used to it," said Davis, "but the more you do it, the better you get."
Though the residents are already offered guided exercise or yoga classes daily, Davis said the games should encourage more physical activity
"They can do it for as long as they want, whether their standing up or sitting down," Davis said, noting how the games appeal to all ages and skill levels.
A wide variety of games are available for use on the system ranging from puzzles to sports. Most all encourage some sort of body movement or use of balance.
"I think it's a wonderful idea," said 94-year-old Elaine Gross, who tried her hand at Wii Golf. "I never played golf before."
Staff at KVNH are being trained so they can show residents how to use the games. Multiple sets of controllers allow for residents to play the games with each other or with visitors.
"When the residents have visitors, like their grandchildren, we're going to let them play with it also," said Davis, "so hopefully that will help others get more involved."