Dr. Marion on the “Today Show”

Marion Somers, Ph.D., an experienced, nationally recognized geriatric care manager, appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” Friday to talk about the proliferation of Nintendo Wii gaming systems in retirement and elder care communities. Joined by two older gamers, Fred and Lynn, Dr. Marion discussed the benefits of seniors playing with the Wii. “The seniors love the game. It’s physical, it’s mental, it’s stimulating, it’s creative,” Dr. Marion noted. “If somebody has some physical limitations and is using a walker or is in a wheelchair, they can still play the game, so it’s got a universal appeal.” The Wii systems have been an unexpected hit with seniors since they came out in late 2006. The controllers are simple, and the available games include activities that many seniors continue to enjoy, such as bowling and tennis. Fred, who bowled until back pain forced him to quit, was bowling a great game as Dr. Marion talked with Today Show co-anchors Natalie Morales and Hoda Kotb. Fred, a resident of an Erickson Retirement Communities in New Jersey, called Seabrook Village said, “I truly enjoy it.” He added, “It doesn’t take long to learn it.” Seabrook Village is one of 20 Erickson Retirement Communities equipped with Wii systems. Dr. Marion pointed out, “It’s a real bonus for these communities.” Lynn, another gamer playing during the segment mentioned she liked the Wii because she could share it with her 21-year-old grandson. “We play together, and I just love it,” she beamed. If you missed the segment, you can watch it at the NBC “Today Show” Web site. You can find out more about Dr. Marion here, and read her contributions to AGIS.com here. For more information on the Wii system, visit the Nintendo’s Wii Web site.