On Tuesday, November 13, locations around the country will be participating in the annual National Memory Screening Day. At these sites, healthcare professionals will provide free, confidential memory screenings and educational materials about memory concerns and brain health. National Memory Screening Day (NMSD) is an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA).
AFA, a national nonprofit organization, introduced the memory screening initiative in 2003. Local screening sites from the onset have primarily been doctors’ offices, hospitals, Alzheimer’s agencies, home care agencies and long-term care facilities; prominent institutions participating this year include the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, AZ and the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Tampa, FL, for example.
More recently, nontraditional sites have joined the bandwagon. Libraries, restaurants and churches are among the 2,500 NMSD sites on board this year. An increasing number of traditional and nontraditional venues are also holding screenings throughout the year as an outgrowth of NMSD.
“We’re seeing communities rally around this issue. It reflects a growing sense that this heartbreaking disease is so big, we must all be in this together,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and CEO.
On NMSD, qualified healthcare professionals administer the face-to-face screenings, which consist of questions and tasks, and take about five to ten minutes. The results are not a diagnosis, but can indicate whether someone should follow up with a healthcare professional.
AFA suggests memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; who believe they are at risk due to a family history of dementia; or who want to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons.
Source: The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include counseling and referrals by licensed social workers via a toll-free hot line, e-mail, Skype, and live chat; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.