Pella Chronicle

Local News

November 13, 2013

Free, confidential memory screenings Nov. 19 & 20

As part of National Memory Screening Day—an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)—the public is invited to two options for free, confidential memory screenings:

-Nov 19, 2 -7 p.m. at Pella Manor, 608 East Second in Pella. Pre-registration is preferred by calling (641) 780-0488.

-Nov 20, from 9 am – 2 pm in Rehabilitation at Pella Regional. First come, first served. Please enter through the Rehabilitation door (Entrance 4).

The face-to-face screenings consist of a series of questions and tasks, and take five to 10 minutes to administer. Educational materials about memory concerns, brain health and caregiving will also be discussed.

“At Hearthstone, we believe there is power in knowledge. This quick screening will provide that initial feedback if memory loss is a normal part of aging or if it’s a discussion point with your doctor,” says Nancy Van Wyk a Certified Dementia Practitioner with Hearthstone, who will administer the memory screening. “The more information we have about a disease provides the opportunity to connect people with the health and well-being services which will truly impact their quality of life.”

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.

“Some memory problems can be readily treated, other memory problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible,” said Tara Leidigh, speech therapist at Pella Regional. “In general, the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat one of these conditions. Warning signs of dementia include forgetting people’s names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion with daily routines, and erratic mood swings.”

Screeners emphasize results are not a diagnosis, and encourage individuals who score poorly as well as those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical examination.

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