Boosting our Seniors’ Cognition with YouTube, the Wii, and Google

shutterstock_273479342Many of us are now embracing technology and using it to interact with our seniors. In some cases we are focusing on technology for facilitating activity groups. We are using the Wii, Xbox Kinect, and our own computers. For the most part, our senior population is embracing this new way of interacting together. They get excited about participating in things that they see their families and grandkids doing. I think it makes them feel like they are in the loop- a good place to be! Let’s boost our seniors’ cognition with YouTube, the Wii and Google! Here are some examples of how to make that work.

One of our favorite games on the Wii is “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader”. It’s based on the popular TV show and has fantastic trivia-like questions. We have found that there is no time limit in which to answer the question and does not require multiple buttons to be pushed on the hand held remote. This combination builds our seniors confidence and they are more likely to participate and be successful! Another fun way to play the Wii is playing the sports package that includes bowling, baseball, golf, tennis and boxing. These games are helpful with practicing fine motor skills when using the remote, promoting range of motion and engaging our intellect.

Xbox Kinect is a perfect choice for those that struggle with the use of the remote. The senior can just focus on using their own body to navigate the game. This is great for those that suffer with arthritis.

Using computer technology is another great way to engage our seniors.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Skype groups- having a fun, interactive group Skyping with the loved ones or friends.
  • Google It groups- getting together and asking the senior what topics they are interested in learning about, seeing pictures, etc.
  • Google Street View groups- taking a tour of the seniors’ city in which they grew up in and how it’s changed or stayed the same. This is a great way to reminisce about the past. Also, take a tour of places they have never been but would like to travel there virtually.
  • Adopt a Bear Den or Eagle Nest group-   http://www.bear.org/website/    or  http://blog.nwf.org/2011/04/eagle-cam-iowa-bald-eagle-eggs-hatching-live/
  • YouTube groups- show your seniors those adorable babies that are laughing or an incredible dog tricks. Get their suggestions of what they want to see or learn about. Laugh together!

How are you incorporating technology into your seniors’ lives? What ideas or suggestions do you have for other  Life Enrichment Directors, Event Planners and Activity Directors?