Updated: May 29, 2020
About AFA’s National Memory Screening Program
AFA’s National Memory Screening Program provides free, confidential memory screenings–administered by qualified healthcare professionals–to individuals across the country.
What is a memory screening?
A memory screening is a simple and safe “healthy brain check-up” that tests memory and other thinking skills. The memory screening is a series of questions and/or tasks that takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and can indicate if someone might benefit from a comprehensive medical evaluation. It is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a physician or other clinician.
Why are memory screenings important?
They are a significant first step toward finding out if a person may have a memory problem. Memory problems could be caused by a number of medical conditions, including vitamin deficiencies, thyroid issues, and depression, as well as dementia-related illnesses including Alzheimer’s.
Some memory problems–such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems– can be readily treated. 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.
Early detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may afford a person the opportunity to take advantage of treatments that may slow the changes in memory and thinking skills or participate in a clinical trial.
Why get a memory screening?
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can improve one’s quality of life. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease can learn more about the disease, including available and emerging medical treatments; get counseling and other social services support in their community; address legal, financial and other planning issues; and have more of a say in decision-making. Caregivers and other family members can take advantage of community services, such as support groups, which can help them feel better–physically and emotionally. They can discuss treatment, future care and other issues with their loved ones, rather than having to make decisions on their own.
It is very important to identify the disease or problem that is causing memory loss. That is why a person should follow up for a complete checkup with a qualified healthcare professional.
Where can I get a memory screening?
AFA has screening sites throughout the country which provide free, confidential memory screenings. Click here to find a screening site.
Additionally, many physicians perform memory screenings. Memory screenings are covered by Medicare as part of the Medicare Wellness Program, and are often covered by insurance companies as well. Check with your doctor for more information.
Who Should be Screened?
These questions might help you decide if you should be screened. If you answer “yes” to any of them, you might benefit from 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?
Note: A memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional.
National Memory Screening Day
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) has initiated a National Memory Screening Day. According to AFA, this event was first introduced in November of 2003 and since then it became a national event that occurs every year. This year, the event will be held on November, 16th.
For more information about free confidential memory screenings in Clallam County and Jefferson County please contact Pam Scott at Discovery Memory Care in Sequim (360) 683-7047 or Pscott@discovery-mc.com.
Information courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America