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E-Sports at The Salvation Army Hoi Lam Centre for Senior Citizens
Video Games Help Delay Cognitive Decline
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Playing video games is considered to have adverse effects on young people’s mind and health. Nevertheless, they can bring benefits to the elderly when used properly to help slow down cognitive decline. The Salvation Army Hoi Lam Centre for Senior Citizens installs an electronic interactive projection games facility after its renovation, which includes 20 audio-visual games providing elders with training of arm-leg coordination, hand-eye coordination or sense of rhythm.
 
Herding the chicks, hitting mosquitoes and virtual piano playing are dynamic games suitable for single or multi-players. Some games with competition mode are even more exciting, making training even more fun for the elders. According to foreign studies*, regular physical activity via playing games is important for the physical, social and psychological health and it is an integral part of many rehabilitation therapies, improving the quality of life of the demented elderly. The colourful images of projection games can also stimulate the elders’ senses, whereas music games can help soothe their mind. According to Uncle Wak, a member of the Centre, ‘I like car racing and other racing games most, as they’re more exciting. Even elders whose legs are immobile can play these games using their hands. This type of games is suitable for different types of elders.’ Another member Po-keung said, ‘These games are fun and good for training the brain. It may help prevent the brain from deteriorating.’ During the first phase, The Salvation Army arranges training for the elderly volunteers and elders with cognitive impairment. The possibility of including ordinary elderly members in the training as a prevention of cognitive impairment will be studied in the future.
 
The Salvation Army Hoi Lam Centre for Senior Citizens completes its improvement works in four aspects: ‘prevention of cognitive impairment’, ‘health promotion’, ‘continued learning’ and ‘enhancement of carer support and home safety’. In addition to interactive projection games, the newly added facilities include physical fitness equipment, carer resources reading corner, and interest class facilities such as coffee makers. The Centre adopts a stylish design, with white-painted brick walls decorated with soft lighting, small potted plants and nostalgic murals. Altogether these give the elders a sense of home. The activity space is also expanded to accommodate more participants for various meetings and events.
 
About The Salvation Army Hoi Lam Centre for Senior Citizens
The Salvation Army Hoi Lam Centre for Senior Citizens mainly provides diversified services to the elderly in the Mongkok district. The Centre organises regular interest classes and other courses conducted by professional instructors to encourage continued learning for the elderly, advocates them to establish a healthy lifestyle, organises elderly volunteers to take part in the Centre’s affairs and care about the community and the frail elderly in the district, reaches out and supports the hidden elderly, and provides physical and emotional support and rehabilitation products borrowing service to carers and their families.
 
*1. Frederick Imbeault , Bruno Bouchard , Abdenour Bouzouane, Serious games in cognitive training for Alzheimer's patients, Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE 1st International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, p.1-8, November 16-18, 2011
 
2. Elena de la Guía , María Dolores Lozano , Victor R. Penichet, Cognitive rehabilitation based on collaborative and tangible computer games, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, May 05-08, 2013, Venice, Italy

 

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