|Memory Screening Day comes to BG, Perrysburg|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Friday, 15 November 2013 10:32|
As part of National Memory Screening Day - an annual initiative of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) - senior centers in both Bowling Green and Perrysburg will be offering private memory screenings on Tuesday.
The Wood County Senior Center will provide confidential screenings at 305 N. Main St., Bowling Green, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Featured speaker Lynn Dennie of Waugh Consulting will discuss "Exercise, Memory and You" from 1 to 2 p.m.
Also on Tuesday, the Perrysburg Area Senior Center will provide private and confidential screenings at 140 W. Indiana Ave. from 1 to 3 p.m. It will also offer brain gym exercises from 1 to 2 p.m. to challenge participants and to provide more information on the unique features of our brains.
Event sponsors are Senior Helpers and St. Clare Commons. To register call the Perrysburg senior center at 419-874-0847.
Qualified healthcare professionals will administer the memory screenings and provide educational materials about memory concerns, brain health and caregiving. The face-to-face screenings consist of a series of questions and tasks, and take five to 10 minutes to administer.
Both the BG and Perrysburg events are free and open to the community, regardless of age.
"Wood County Committee on Aging strives to keep individuals independent and assists them to remain in their own homes. Through events like this we are able to provide resources for those with concerns about their cognitive abilities," noted Danielle Brogley, director of programs. "This information is necessary so that they may plan ahead to avoid a potential crisis situation."
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.
Screeners emphasize that results are not a diagnosis, and encourage those who score poorly as well as those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical examination.
Such screenings are becoming increasingly important as the number of Baby Boomers turning age 65 - the at-risk age group for Alzheimer's disease - continues to climb. The federal government's historic "National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease" urges a greater emphasis on both early diagnosis and education about Alzheimer's and related dementias.
However, an AFA survey of 2010 National Memory Screening Day participants found that 92 percent of those polled had never been given a screening by their primary health-care provider; and 83 percent who were worried about their memory had not discussed their concerns with a doctor.
"Brain health should be on everyone's radar screen, especially as you age. Memory screenings are a first but critical step toward finding out where you stand now and what additional steps you might need to take," said Carol Steinberg, president of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
Some memory problems, like those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid issues, are readily treatable and even curable. Others might be due to Alzheimer's or a related dementia. Although there currently is no cure for Alzheimer's, early intervention can improve the quality of an individual's life; available medications may help slow progression of symptoms and diagnosed individuals can more readily participate in long-term care planning.
Warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include forgetting people's names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion and personality changes. The number of Americans with Alzheimer's is expected to triple to 13.8 million by mid-century. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease.
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