The study known as Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE), looked at the cognitive skills of 2,832 elderly men and women with an average age of 73 years. The ACTIVE study was designed to rate the cognitive skills of this group over a 10-year span. Throughout the 10 years, the men and women played video games from BrainHQ that are designed to help with memory.

How the Study Worked

Seniors in the ACTIVE study played these games for 60 to 75 minutes for about a month and a half. After that, some continued in the program participating in some or all of the skill boosting sessions at 11 and 35 months. Some of the participants were not involved in the skill boosting sessions. All study participants returned to have cognitive and daily functions assessments at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10 years.

Over the years, some participants dropped out due to health issues, death, or the program’s determination that the participant did not attend enough training sessions to enable them to continue. At the 10 year assessment, the study found that participants who played games that worked on speed and reasoning skills had better cognitive function than those who did not.

What Games Were Played

The games offered by BrainHQ cover six main areas that help with memory, response times, and visual acuity. Visual acuity games include challenges where the play views five images that quickly flash on the screen. The player needs to remember the location of the two images that matched. Another game involved seeing an image and then remembering minute details that make it easy to find the image in a line-up.

Some games require the player to work on memory skills. An example is a card game where cards are shown and memorized. Each level adds more cards to the hand for the player to quickly memorize and repeat to the computer. It’s similar to the game Simon where you press the light-up color buttons to match what the computer just played.

Make Sure Your Parent Has Support

When dementia is present, your mom or dad will struggle with daily activities. Games at sites like BrainHQ may help, but it’s not a guarantee. Keep track of your parent’s abilities and arrange for helpful elderly services when needed.

Some of the services you should think about include medication reminders, transportation, and meal preparation. Learn more by calling an elderly care agency.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home elderly care in North Haven, CT, please contact the caring staff at Franciscan Ever There Care. Call today 203-630-2881.