November 18th is National Memory Screening Day. This program is part of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s ongoing initiative to encourage individuals to participate in memory screenings. These screenings are valuable in helping to detect memory loss early.
Who Should Participate in a Memory Screening?
Memory screening is an option for anyone who is concerned about future memory loss or who may already be experiencing symptoms of dementia. While some people who choose to participate in a screening are not experiencing memory loss, they may have a family history of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This makes them a good candidate for a memory screening.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America suggests consulting the following list of questions to determine whether someone is a candidate for a memory screening:
Am I becoming more forgetful?
Do I have trouble concentrating?
Do I have difficulty performing familiar tasks?
Do I have trouble recalling words or names in conversation?
Do I sometimes forget where I am or where I am going?
Have family or friends told me that I am repeating questions or saying the same thing over and over again?
Am I misplacing things more often?
Have I become lost when walking or driving?
Have my family or friends noticed changes in my mood, behavior, personality, or desire to do things?
If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then a memory screening can be a good option to help assess the situation.
What Happens During a Memory Screening?
You can feel confident in encouraging a loved one to sign up for a memory screening, as well as participating in one yourself. Unlike other medical procedures that might be invasive or otherwise unpleasant, a memory screening is a simple, one-on-one test conducted between the patient and health care professional in a private setting.
The screening itself comprises a list of questions and a series of tasks that are used to assess memory, language skills, mental functions, and other intellectual abilities.
Once the testing is complete, the health care professional will review the results of the memory screening with the participant. Depending on the results, the health care professional may suggest scheduling a follow-up visit with a physician for more extensive testing.
The results of a memory screening test are kept confidential, though the participant will be given a copy of the results to share with their physician.
While many people will be participating in a screening on National Memory Screening Day, it’s important to know that these tests are offered year-round in all 50 states.
It is also important to note that while a screening is a valuable tool to assess someone’s memory and thinking, it does not serve as a complete diagnosis for any illness or memory disorder, and it is not meant to take the place of a visit with a physician.
Memory Care Programs at White Oaks
White Oaks offers personalized memory care options to improve the quality of life for residents who are coping with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Should your senior loved one participate in a memory screening and discover they are exhibiting early signs of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you can rest assured that they will receive the support they need at a Randall Residence.