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Senior fair offers Wii fun

May 01, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

HALFWAY -- Peg Sensenbaugh said she was a novice at both bowling and video games, but when she and her husband saw a booth at Valley Mall offering Wii bowling, they decided to give it a try.

Within minutes, Sensenbaugh, 72, of Hagerstown, had gotten the hang of swinging the motion-sensing video game controller toward the screen and releasing the button, sending her virtual bowling ball barreling toward the pins on the screen.

"I think we're gonna have to get a Wii," she told her husband.

The activity was part of "Livin' Begins at 50," a senior-oriented fair sponsored by WJEJ Radio held Friday outside The Bon-Ton.

The event included booths from senior living centers, banks, a law firm, and other senior-oriented businesses and organizations.

The Nintendo Wii was provided by The Village at Robinwood and Ravenwood Lutheran Village, senior living communities that each have Wii systems available for residents' use.

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The seniors play Wii Sports games such as baseball, bowling and golf, and the village has incorporated Wii Fit into its physical therapy sessions.

"They really enjoy it," said Jodi Murphy, executive director of Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries.

Community residents George and Ruth MacKnew were on hand to explain the video game system to other seniors who stopped by the fair.

George MacKnew, 78, said the sports games are fun, but they also help seniors keep in shape.

"It's good exercise," he said. "It really is. After awhile, you're ready to stop. It's not something you stand up and do for all day."

The other entertainment-related booth at the fair was a bingo game hosted by Broadmore Assisted Living at Hagerstown.

Also at the fair was Smithsburg resident Debbie Cramer, who was selling a range of homemade items designed to meet the needs of seniors. Her creations, such as a bib-like "coverup," were things she first made for her parents, who live at Broadmore. Other residents and their families asked if she would make them for them, too, and Cramer's business was born, she said.

Cramer's other items are quilted bags designed to hang from walkers and "pocket purses" that can be handy for holding the buzzer that assisted-living residents carry with them.

For more information on Cramer's items, call 301-824-2996.

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