Local residents who want a status check on their memory can take advantage of free, confidential screenings Nov. 17 as part of National Memory Screening Day, an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) designed to promote proper detection of memory problems and strategies for successful aging.
Memory screenings are a significant first step toward finding out if a person may have a memory problem, which can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other medical conditions.
Now in its seventh 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.
On Nov. 17, Wood County Committee on Aging will hold memory screenings at 305 N. Main St., from 1-3 p.m. It will also offer hands on memory enhancement games. For more information, call 419-353-5661.
AFA suggests memory screenings for adults concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; or who believe they are at risk due to a family history of Alzheimer's disease or a related illness. Screenings also are appropriate for those who do not have a concern right now, but who want to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons.
The event features a face-to-face screening, which takes only about five to 10 minutes. Screening 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 with below-normal scores or those who have normal scores but are still concerned to follow up with a qualified healthcare professional.
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. Currently, as many as 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and the incidence is rising in line with the aging population. Age is the greatest known risk factor.
For more information about National Memory Screening Day, visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.org or call 866-AFA-8484.