Exergamers NYC: Senior Centers connect online for first-ever Xbox Bowling Competition

   Many of New
York’s
innovative senior centers have begun exergaming by offering Zumba
dancing and bowling with Microsoft Kinect for Xbox.
  Classes and friendly competitions have taken
place within the senior centers and between them.

·       
Participating
senior centers reflected some of New York City’s most innovative and diverse
senior centers. In fact, the sites that competed in the virtual bowling league
included the Services
& Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) Center,
Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center, and the VISIONS/Services
for the Blind and Visually Impaired center.

o  
SAGE: Services
& Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country’s largest and oldest
organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) older adults.

o  
SelfHelp
Community Services Inc.
: For the past 70-plus years, Selfhelp Community Services, Inc., a
non-profit organization, has been dedicated to enabling seniors and at-risk
families to live in their own homes, independently and with dignity.  Selfhelp serves seniors in Flushing, Queens, which
is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of New York.

o  
VISIONS: Celebrating
its 87th year of service, VISIONS assists people of all ages who are blind or
visually impaired to lead independent and active lives in their homes and
communities; and educate the public to understand the capabilities and needs of
people who are blind or visually impaired

 

Third Party Research

·       
According
to a study by the American Journal of Preventive
medicine in February 2012, exercise may prevent or delay dementia. However, only 14 percent of adults aged 65
to 74 years and 7 percent of those over 75 years exercise regularly. 


In
a public/private partnership that builds upon the past success of New York
City’s first Virtual Senior Center, created in 2010, the Department for the
Aging (DFTA) and the Department of Information Technology &
Telecommunications (DoITT) teamed up again with Microsoft to launch the very
first Kinect for Xbox virtual bowling match. The interactive competition will
take place between two of DFTA’s Innovative Senior Centers (ISC) – The SAGE
Center, the first LGBT senior center in the city,
and
Selfhelp, the city’s first virtual senior center. A third ISC – VISIONS, the
City’s first Innovative Senior Center for blind and visually-impaired seniors,
will also host an exhibition of its Kinect program.

 

“Technology
is rapidly changing the way we perform even the most routine activities and it
is important that we promote digital inclusion,” said NYC Department for the
Aging Commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli. “We must make sure our seniors are
actively engaged with technology, whether it is social media, a discussion with
family over Skype, or through an email with a loved one. When we can have our
seniors not only embrace technology, but also have it benefit their physical
wellbeing, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

 

“‘Exergamers
NYC’ is a shining example of how the City can use its public-private technology
partnerships to help New Yorkers – in this case our seniors – connect with
innovative solutions to improve their quality of life,” said DoITT Citywide Chief
Information and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Merchant. “The Bloomberg
Administration is committed to using technology to better serve New Yorkers.
Through this program we are collectively providing more opportunities for
seniors to engage with readily available technology to boost activity, social
interaction, and overall wellbeing.”


READ MORE  at the Department of Aging

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