There’s a whole lot of game playing going on in rehabilitation these days. And patients at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital may find themselves playing video games as part of their rehabilitation.

The Nintendo Wii gaming system has crossed over into the therapeutic environment. Therapists at Spalding use the Wii with patients for a number of therapeutic tasks.

Memory/Cognitive Skills

The patient gets a memory workout, remembering how to start up the system and play the game. For some patients creating the activity on the screen by using the controller and following the on-screen instructions assists with cognitive recovery, as well.

Physical Skills, Balance & Coordination

Playing games helps patients return to complex activities such as throwing a ball, bowling or swinging a golf club. For example, a stroke patient could relearn these complex activities while also adjusting to changes in their use of an arm or leg and/or changes in balance and coordination.

Working on balance, coordination and cognitive tasks while playing a Wii game is much more fun and engaging than some of the exercises or therapeutic activities used in rehabilitation. It has become an invaluable tool for therapists in helping Spalding patients rebuild their lives and renew their hope after a life-changing injury or illness.