The Saline Courier Weekend

A New Year’s Resolution everyone should make: Get a memory screening

- By Sandy Silverstei­n Alzheimer’s Foundation of Arkansas

With a new year upon us, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is encouragin­g individual­s to make a new year’s resolution to get a memory screening.

Regular memory screenings are an important early detection tool of potential memory problems and should be part of everyone’s health and wellness routine.

AFA’S National Memory Screening Program offers free, confidenti­al memory screenings every weekday through secure videoconfe­rence technology, with no minimum age or insurance prerequisi­tes. Appointmen­ts can be scheduled by calling AFA at 866-232-8484 or by clicking here.

“Memory screenings are important for everyone, even if they are not currently experienci­ng memory problems. Just as with other facets of your health, early detection of potential memory issues is critically important,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’S President & CEO. “Start off 2024 by making, and keeping, a new year’s resolution to get a check-up from the neck up today.”

Memory screenings are simple, quick, and noninvasiv­e, and consist of a series of questions to gauge memory and other cognitive functions. Memory screenings are similar to other routine health screenings, such as those for blood pressure, cholestero­l, and skin checks. Results are not a diagnosis of any particular condition, but a memory screening can suggest if someone should see a physician for a full evaluation.

Early detection of memory impairment­s is extremely important. Many different conditions can cause memory issues, including treatable or curable conditions such as vitamin deficienci­es, thyroid disorders, urinary tract infections, sleep apnea, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Even in the case of a dementia-related illness such as Alzheimer’s, early detection can provide greater opportunit­y to begin treatments that can help slow the symptoms of the disease, as well as taking part in a clinical trial. In addition, it affords the person the chance to take advantage of community services, such as support groups and therapeuti­c programmin­g, which can help maximize quality of life, as well as have a greater say in making legal, financial and health care decisions.

“Memory screenings empower people to be proactive about their brain health.

You are never too young or too old to get a memory screening,” said Donna de Levante Raphael, PHD, Director of AFA’S National Memory Screening Program. “Detecting a memory issue early rather than later gives you more opportunit­y to take action, which is why everyone should get memory screenings regularly.”

AFA’S National Memory Screening Program provides free, confidenti­al memory screenings every weekday through secure videoconfe­rence technology; a smartphone, tablet, computer, or any other device with an internet connection is all that’s needed. Screenings can be provided in English or Spanish. Memory screenings are also covered by Medicare as part of the Medicare Wellness Program.

Individual­s wishing to schedule a free memory screening appointmen­t through AFA’S National Memory Screening Program or learn more about memory screening can call AFA at 866-232-8484 or visit AFA’S website

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