Mind Games: Strengthening Your Brain

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For the next few weeks, we are featuring some of our favorite blogs from years past. This entry was first published by In Care of Dad on August 11, 2011.

 

by Karen Keller Capuciati

So who doesn’t have a story about their own silly forgetfulness? Searching for your eyeglasses when they’re on top of your head? Forgetting you placed a cup of coffee on top of your car as you pull out the driveway? Or, in my case, leaving my new iPhone on top of my Jeep as I drove off.

Now that was dumb!

My first thought is always the same: Wow, this must be the onset of dementia. But the truth is usually less dramatic. More often than not, we’re simply doing too many things at once and just too distracted for our own good.

Whatever the reason, wouldn’t it be cool to actually strengthen our brains? To be proactive in maintaining, and even expanding, our cognitive abilities? Current research on the topic indicates that brain capabilities can be improved at any age, which is a huge relief for those of us getting into age brackets where forgetfulness is an everyday battle.

Well, there’s a website called Lumosity.com that’s full of innovative games created specifically to “reclaim your brain.” The games are fun and scientifically tested to focus the brain in the following areas:

  • Speed: thinking faster, processing quickly.
  • Flexibility: multi-task efficiently, thinking creatively.
  • Memory: improving name recall, remembering more.
  • Problem Solving: improving quantitative reasoning.

The games are designed to gauge your level of brain functioning, and they increase in difficulty as you progress. Points are attained to help you establish your own personal goals.

Lumosity.com is not just a site for preventing brain degeneration but actually a useful tool for recovery from cognitive trauma such as strokes and brain injury. It was recommended to us by our friend, Graciela, who was Mom’s roommate at Rusk Rehabilitation Center in NYC in the fall of 2009, where Mom went in the aftermath of her stroke. Graciela told me she feels that Lumosity has helped her in her recovery at home and she wanted to pass it along as an idea to help our mom improve her concentration and reading.

When you register at the site, there are a few questions you need to answer to personalize your training, such as, “What are your primary training objectives?” and “What cognitive skills would you like to improve most?” A new Lumosity account allows for 3 basic training sessions for free. Once the free trial ends, you still have access to about 10 games, but if you want the full array of training and progress-monitoring tools, an annual subscription is available for $6.70 per month.

We intend to get Mom set up with her own account. After playing some of the games on Lumosity ourselves, we are pretty hooked. Please let us know what you think of Lumosity.com, or if you know of any other sites or tools that offer the same benefits.

 

Karen Keller Capuciati is the Co-Founder of In Care of Dad.



6 Responses to “Mind Games: Strengthening Your Brain”

  1. Hallie says:

    Hey Karen, this is Hallie from Lumosity! I’m glad to hear your family is hooked on our games, we think they’re pretty great too :) If you decide to get a subscription for your mom, you can use this link to buy one at 15% off:

    http://bit.ly/muFogF

  2. karen says:

    Hi Hallie, Thanks for sending us an email and for the generous discount offer for our mom. We will definitely get Mom set up on Lumosity.com. She will love it and it will benefit her greatly. Sincerely, Karen

  3. Hallie says:

    Great Karen! Just send me an email if you have any questions or need any help getting set up :)

  4. Janis Williams says:

    Hallie, and Karen,
    My mom will be 90 next week, she refuses to use a computer – however she does have me look up websites she copies down when she sees something of interest on the television. Also to order she tickets to fly somewhere and to get her boarding passes. I just wish she could desire to have a computer and use it, she is getting more and more forgetful this past year. The games I played this evening were fun and I am sure if I kept playing that my memory would improve.
    I also notice the jobs area, I am interested in the customer service representative postitions, but are there any that one can do from a quiet home office in Arizona?
    I was a Sprint long-distance operator for eight years, also a former teacher – I just substitute teach now and need a regular part-time or ,if necessary, a full-time career. I have great commendations to share if interested. Resume sent upon request if telecommute is possible.

  5. karen says:

    Hi Janis,
    I can relate to the buying of airline tickets for mom online :) The Lumosity games are super fun – in my opinion this must be a reason the games are so successful. Regarding a job opportunities, you will need to contact Lumosity directly — it looks like you can apply on their site. Good luck!
    Sincerely,
    Karen

  6. Sandra says:

    Did you apply to work with Lumosity? Hope you were successful!

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