Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lumosity Brain Games for Your Memory

Are you interested in trying to use brain building exercises to improve your mental acuity and, perhaps, postpone the symptoms of dementia?  Scientists have developed a program called Lumosity that you can use for just that purpose.

Because so many Baby Boomers have begun to subscribe to Lumosity, I thought it would be worth exploring.  I began by going to

When I clicked on "Start Training Now," I was asked which aspects of my memory I wanted to challenge.  The choices were:

Remembering patterns and locations;
Associating names with faces;
Keeping track of multiple pieces of information in my head;
Recalling sequences of objects and movements.

Of course, I checked them all!

After I hit "next," I discovered that I was also given choices regarding the areas I wanted to concentrate on in other aspects of my memory.  In each category, I was given four choices.  I checked most of the boxes for each category.  However, I skipped a few that I did not think were particular problems for me.  For example, under "Attention," I did not check avoiding distractions.  I am generally able to stay pretty focused (and my later test score showed that I was correct).  Other people may want to choose that item.

I only made a couple of choices in the thinking speed category.  (When I received my score, however, I realized that I may not think as quickly as I thought I did!)   Under flexibility I checked all the choices.  

After choosing the areas that I thought needed the most development, I was asked to set up an account and give them my email address so I could start my free Fit Test.  They began by asking my gender, level of education and occupation.  This was followed by more questions regarding how much I exercise, how much sleep I get, etc.  Then they generated my assessment tests.

I completed three tests that were designed to assess my speed, attention and memory.  They were a bit more challenging than I expected.

Here were my final results, when compared to other people in my age group of 65 to 69:

Speed - 42% of people
Train of thought - 87% of people
Memory matrix - 61% of people

I was right that I am able to stay focused and maintain my train of thought.  My memory, on the other hand, was only slightly above the typical score.  My speed, however, was slower than my peers, which surprised me.  This is definitely an area that needs work.

After completing the tests, a screen popped up that said they were creating a personalized training program for me.  When nothing changed on that screen after several minutes, I logged off.  Then I went back to the site and my personal results were awaiting me.

Once you have done the free assessment, they invite you to take advantage of their full program.  You can continue to play a few of their games for free, which I have done periodically in the following months.  This is a good way to determine whether or not you think you will consistently use the program.

If you decide that you do want the full, personalized program that is designed specifically for you, those games are not free. However, they do offer a range of price options ... paying for the program monthly, yearly or as a two year subscription.  It can cost as little as $3 a month for an individual who pays two years in advance or as much as $11.95 a month for those who prefer to pay monthly.

If you wait for a few weeks, you will be offered an opportunity to purchase the program at a discount of 25% to 35%.  It is worth it NOT to sign up the minute you do the first assessment.

If you do sign up for the personalized program, the daily games you will be given will be based on the mental areas that you think are most important for you to exercise, as well as the results of your tests.  Lumosity will continually challenge you to perform better and better.

According to the Lumosity website, the exercises are designed by neuroscientists and are continually evaluated through independent research studies at institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California at Berkeley.  This program could prove to be a fun, interesting and helpful way for Baby Boomers to keep their minds as sharp as possible.

The site also claims that just ten to fifteen minutes of doing these exercises each day can lead to improvements in your mental function, at least as measured by the Lumosity tests. 

Lumosity members can be found in 180 different countries.  People all over the world are finding that these brain challenges can improve the way they think.

You can try Lumosity for yourself at  At the very least, you may want to take the assessment tests and decide if you think you either need the program or whether it would be helpful to you.

Please note: I have no financial interest in the company, nor do I receive any commissions if people decide to sign up.  I just thought I would give the program a try, since so many Baby Boomers have expressed interest in it.

In addition, it is important to remember:  You may be able to get similar improvements in your thinking skills by doing crossword puzzles, playing video games such as the ones created by BrainAge, playing card games like Bridge and staying socially, physically and mentally active.

If you are interested in reading more about health and retirement issues, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article.  They contain links to hundreds of additional articles on a variety of topics related to retirement and aging.

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