A monthly article brought to you by Senior Services Memory Support Programs
Some degree of memory problems, as well as a modest decline in other thinking skills, is a common part of aging. There is a difference, however, between normal changes in memory and the type of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Normal age-related memory loss does not prevent you from living a full and productive life. For example, you may forget a person’s name, but recall it later in the day or you might misplace your glasses occasionally. These changes in memory are generally manageable and do not disrupt your ability to work, live independently or maintain a social life.
Memory loss that disrupts daily life, however, is not a typical part of aging; it may be a symptom of dementia. Dementia is a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Often, memory loss is one of the first or more recognizable signs of dementia. Early detection is key and a good place to start is by scheduling a memory screening at Senior Services. The screening results are not a diagnosis, but often an important first step toward proper detection and treatment.
A memory screening is a simple and safe evaluation tool and consists of a series of questions and tasks designed to test memory, language skills, attention, concentration and processing. The person who gives you the screening will review the results with you and suggest whether you should follow up with a qualified healthcare professional for more testing. Results of the memory screenings are confidential and can be passed on to your physician at your request.
A number of factors can affect memory and getting screened can help determine possible problems. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you might benefit from a memory screening:
- Am I becoming more forgetful?
- Do I have trouble concentrating?
- Do I have problems performing familiar tasks?
- Do I have trouble recalling words or names in conversation?
- Do I sometimes forget where I am?
- Am I misplacing things more often?
- Have family or friends told me that I am repeating questions or telling stories more than once?
- Have I become lost when walking or driving in a familiar neighborhood?
Senior Services offers an array of memory support programs including free and confidential memory screenings to obtain a cognitive baseline, our early memory loss program, and educational classes along with support from Seasons Adult Day Health Services. If you or someone you know is experiencing increasing changes with their memory and could benefit from additional services, please contact Amy Sheridan, Family Support and Activity Manager at 989-633-3764.
Please continue to check out the section, Our Mind Matters, next month.