|SPRINGFIELD The Jewish Community Center and Homewatch CareGivers is encouraging members of the community to be proactive about memory health by taking advantage of free, confidential memory screenings and information about successful aging on Nov. 15.|
The event is part of National Memory Screening Day (NMSD), an annual initiative that the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) hosts each November during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. More than 2,000 sites across the country will be participating.
Homewatch CareGivers will provide the memory screenings at 1160 Dickinson St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO, said the continuing growth of National Memory Screening Day reinforces the need for this service. More than 30 leading professional organizations are supporting the event this year.
“Community memory screenings are a vital resource to begin a dialogue with a healthcare professional and to learn more about brain health. They prompt critical next steps,” he said.
Qualified healthcare professionals administer the screenings, which consist of a series of questions and tasks, and take five to ten minutes. Screening results are not a diagnosis, and individuals with below-normal scores or who have concerns are encouraged to pursue a full medical exam.”
Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Other memory problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible, such as Alzheimer’s disease. In general, the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat one of these conditions.
AFA urges anyone concerned about memory changes, at risk of Alzheimer’s disease due to family history or who wants to check their memory now and for future comparison to get screened. Warning signs of dementia include forgetting people’s names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion over daily routines, and erratic mood swings.
Currently, as many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and the incidence is rising in line with the swell of aging baby boomers. The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease doubles every five years beyond age 65.
For more information or to schedule a screening, call 739-4715.
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