National Memory Screening Day
November 17, 2009, is National Memory Screening Day, an initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), to provide free, confidential memory screenings to those concerned about memory loss. The focus is on early detection and intervention. The screenings will be offered at no charge in convenient locations throughout the country. The day also provides the opportunity to learn about lifestyle choices for healthy and successful aging. The day was introduced in November 2003, and it takes place in November each year in recognition of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
Memory screenings are important for people who are concerned about memory loss, who are experiencing warning signs about dementia, whose family and friends have noticed changes in them, or who believe they may be at risk because of a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or related illness. Other individuals may not have current concerns, but would like to see how their memory is as a baseline for future comparisons. Memory screenings are important for several reasons.
- They are a first step toward determining if a person has a memory problem; such problems could be caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions.
- The screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness or condition, or replace consultations with medical professionals, it can, however, provide valuable information to those professionals, and can indicate if a person might benefit from a more complete consultation.
- It is important to identify the cause of the memory loss; therefore, it is important that a person follow up for a compete checkup with a qualified healthcare professional.
- Some causes of memory loss can be treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Other causes may not be reversible, but the earlier the causes are identified, the easier it may be to treat the condition.
- Early identification of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), can provide medical professionals with the opportunity to treat the condition and possibly slow down the changes in memory or other thinking skills.
- With Alzheimer’s disease, early diagnosis may improve one’s quality of life. The individuals diagnosed with the disease can learn more about it, get counseling and other social services, and address legal, financial and other planning issues. Family members can take advantage of services in the community that can provide assistance and support.
For more information about National Memory Screening Day and for a list of screening locations, please visit the AFA website at www.nationalmemoryscreening.org.
O&H: Allie, you are so lucky to be able to work from home, and we know you don’t like to ride in the car. We’ve heard that there is a cat who actually likes to use public transportation. Please tell us about this feline.
Allie: Sure! Plymouth, England, resident Susan Finden didn’t know where her cat Casper would disappear to every day. The local bus drivers in Plymouth recently provided her with the answer when they told her that Casper has been a regular on the No. 3 bus for months! Casper lines up each morning with the paying passengers for the 10:55 morning service. He sits in the back for the 11-mile round trip route, then hops off to return home. The drivers watch out for him and make sure he gets off at the right stop. A bus company spokesman said they are happy to let Casper ride for free. “In cat years, he’s an OAP (Old Age Pensioner) so he’d get a free bus pass anyway.” The bus company has put up a notice in the driver’s break area to ask them to look after Casper if he sneaks onboard. By the way, Casper is named after Casper the Friendly Ghost. Hmm … he’s living up to his name! Well, that story has worn me out…. Time to check the scenery outside the window and then catch a nap…. See Casper here: www.peoplepets.com/news/amazing/commuter-kitty-meet-casper-the-bus-riding-cat/1
Oast & Hook will hold its quarterly Social Workers and Administrators Breakfast on November 19th at the Russell Memorial Library, 2808 Taylor Road Chesapeake, Virginia. Registration beings at 9:15 a.m. and the presentation begins at 9:30 a.m. Questions will be answered from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The breakfast is designed to be both a networking opportunity and also an educational opportunity for area professionals who work with seniors, the disabled, and their families. Seats are limited, so please register early. To register for this breakfast, please phone Linda Gerber at 757-967-9704.
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