National Memory Screening Day
During this time of heightened concerns about rising healthcare costs, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) will offer free memory screenings at nearly 2,200 local sites across the country as part of its 6th annual National Memory Screening Day on November 18th. Coinciding with National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month in November, the annual initiative is aimed at promoting early detection of memory problems and appropriate intervention. AFA encourages adults with memory concerns, a family history of Alzheimer's disease or a desire to establish a baseline score for future comparison to get screened and to pick up educational materials about memory concerns, successful aging and local resources.
To find a site, visit ww w.nationalmemoryscreening.org or call (toll-free) 866-232-8484.
For many, getting screened on National Memory Screening Day is the first point of addressing brain health. An AFA survey of screening participants last year found that more than two-thirds self-reported memory complaints, but only one in five had discussed them with their physicians despite recent visits.
The face-to-face screening takes approximately five minutes and consists of a series of questions and tasks. Sites, spanning all 50 states, include the entire chain of Kmart pharmacies, senior centers, houses of worship, assisted living facilities and doctor's offices. Follow up with a clinician may reveal that the person's memory problems stem from a reversible condition such as a vitamin deficiency or thyroid problem, or from an irreversible disorder like Alzheimer's disease. Early identification of Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia allows affected individuals and their family members to benefit from available treatments that can help slow progression of symptoms, as well as to plan for the future and access social services support. Research shows that counseling and other support for caregivers can improve a caregiver's physical and mental health, and can delay nursing home placement of their loved ones up to 18 months.