Individuals can take advantage of free, confidential memory screenings as part of National Memory Screening Day, an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) to promote proper detection of memory problems. Mayo Clinic Health System’s Geriatrics Department will be offering screenings on Tuesday, November 17.
A memory screening averages ten to fifteen minutes, and consists of questions and tasks to assess memory. Screening is a safe, cost-efficient intervention that can reassure the healthy individual, promotes successful aging and, when indicated, directs individuals to appropriate clinical resources. It does not diagnose any illness, but can indicate whether someone should pursue a medical exam.
It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The number is escalating in line with the aging population; the first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011. Advanced age is the greatest risk factor, with the incidence of the disease doubling every five years between 65 and 95.
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. National Memory Screening Day serves as a starting point for discussions about memory concerns and lifestyle changes- diet, managing stress, physical exercise- that may help people age successfully.
Memory problems could be caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other medical conditions. It is estimated that missed diagnoses of dementia may be as high as 90 percent.
To register for the memory screenings, please call 392-9505 by November 10.