Boothbay Harbor Maine,—Free confidential memory screenings will be available on November 18 as part of National Memory Screening Day, an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) designed to improve overall health maintenance and promote proper detection of memory problems.
AFA encourages adults, including those with memory concerns, a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or a desire to establish a baseline score, to take advantage of the screenings and to pick up educational materials about memory concerns, successful aging and caregiving.
The face-to-face screening takes only about five to ten minutes and consists of a series of questions and tasks. It is administered by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a physician, nurse, psychologist or social worker. The results do not represent a diagnosis, and AFA advises those individuals who score poorly or who have normal scores but are still concerned to follow up with their physician or another qualified healthcare professional.
Now in its sixth year, AFA’s National Memory Screening Day coincides with National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, which takes place during November. Sites across the country will be participating in the event.
“Last year we were able to provide this screening for several folks from the community and it provided them with valuable information that they could share with their doctor” said Debbie Siegel, RN, Health Services Manager.
Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO, said National Memory Screening Day is an important vehicle “to open up a dialogue about memory concerns.”
“Checking your brain health is just as critical as checking the health of the rest of your body. If you are experiencing memory problems, it is better to learn the cause earlier rather than later so that you can be pro-active,” Hall said.
A subsequent medical exam may reveal that the person has a reversible condition such as a vitamin deficiency or thyroid problem, or an irreversible disorder like Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Warning signs of dementia include forgetting people’s names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills and confusion over daily routines.
For more information about National Memory Screening Day, visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.orgor call 866-AFA-8484.
This year, the premier sponsor of the event is Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Forest Pharmaceuticals is the presenting sponsor; and Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc are the event’s Remembrance sponsors.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and made up of more than 950 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses. AFA’s services include a toll-free hot line, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call (toll-free) 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org. ##