Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Stroke Survivor ~ Video Games?

A new research study out of Canada is using video games for stroke rehab. I thought "Wow, that will be a challenge!" My second thought was, "How could I do it one handed?" My third thought was, "Doh! You old timer you."

The reasons my thought processes worked like this is I've long been a supporter of making rehab fun no matter what your age is. If something is fun then you are more apt to do it. In fact I've mentioned the computer/internet games that I "play" to rebuild my cognitive deficits. Those are easy with a click of the mouse, but video games?

I've played video games since way back when. I even had one of the first Atari systems ever built. Yeah I'm a geek and proud of it. I was a computer programmer back then. Matter of fact, I still have it in my attic. It came with Space Invaders. I even bought a few more games for it before I switched over to a Nintendo. But I digress.

I've always like the way it built eye-hand coordination and logic skills. Before my stroke I even bought a X-Box 360 hoping to get my husband to play as a way to keep his mental acuity strong. I believe if you don't use it - you lose it. Video games would be a great way to rebuild cognitive deficits like logic, progression, and sequencing. Plus it didn't hurt to have it for my grandchildren either.

But how would I play one handed? I've often thought since my stroke that it would be great to play with my grandchildren BUT I only had one working hand and it takes two. That pretty well left me out of the loop. I became the spectator cheering on others while they played.

Just like texting is faster with two thumbs, the control is not handicap friendly.

My third thought was when I realized that with a WII or X-Box Kinect it was possible to play the game without two functioning hands. That was was my Doh! moment. By moving my body for the body on the screen, it becomes a PT workout AND a cognitive work out at the same time. Unfortunately, I don't have the Kinect. I bought my X-Box when it was the "new" system out there. As with a technology based product, it has a life of six months before a new, better model comes out. Built in obsolescence.

I can see the movement, the eye- body coordination, balance training, stretching, and the fun factor helping us help ourselves. The more we attempt to move the more neuron pathways we build thus recovery. It's a win/win situation to me.

I PROPOSE MORE FUN IN STROKE SURVIVORS' LIVES! Lord knows, we've been through and still going through a lot. I've got an idea!

It couldn't hurt. Tis almost the season.

Nothing is impossible with determination.


  1. Smart idea! I have an X-Box with the Kinect and there are a lot of games you can play with it. It would be excellent for building up coordination.

  2. Sounds like a good idea to me. It's amazing how the technology has come on since the days of Atari - I was a C64 man, or rather, rugrat. The WII would be a great way of rehabilitating safely.

  3. I don't personally like video games, but I do subscribe/use lumosity. One of my rehabs also incorporated the WII into my sets. They would have me do the skiing and the yoga for balance. The yoga one provided great feedback in terms of body alignment and center of gravity.

  4. I asked my husband to buy me a Wii for Christmas. I always used to love ping-pong, even though I was terrible at it. Hopefully I can enjoy the Wii tennis game. Chasing after real balls is out of the question.

  5. While I've never played video games, Wii fascinates me. I can see how it would be a help.

    Dear Santa,
    Please bring Jo a Wii for Christmas.
    Zan Marie


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