NEW YORK (October 26, 2023)— Memory screenings are an important part of a good health and wellness routine for all of us. As part of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this November, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is reminding everyone to prioritize their brain health and get a memory screening.
AFA offers free memory screenings every weekday through its National Memory Screening Program, with no minimum age or insurance prerequisites, through secure videoconference technology.
Individuals can learn more or request a screening appointment by clicking here or contacting AFA at 866-232-8484.
“Annual screenings are important, including for our brains, which is why everyone should make getting a memory screening a priority during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and throughout the year,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s President & CEO.
“Just as we regularly check other facets of our health, we should all get a checkup from the neck up, regardless of whether or not we are having memory problems.”
“You are never too young or too old to get a memory screening and be more proactive about your brain health,” said Donna de Levante Raphael, Director of AFA’s National Memory Screening Program.
“Many people don’t think about their cognitive health when they get their regular medical checkups. If you are 65 years or older, a memory screening is a part of your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit.
“It is very important to make sure you keep your mind sharp, and there are many ways to do that in order to combat cognitive decline.
I always remind people that the first step is to get a screening to see if there might be any memory issues. It is better to know early rather than later.”
Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more than 6.2 million Americans, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that number will more than double by 2060.
Memory screenings are an important first step toward early detection of memory issues. Screenings take just a few minutes and are noninvasive, consisting of a series of questions to gauge memory, language, thinking skills and other intellectual functions.
Results are not a diagnosis of any particular condition, but a memory screening can suggest if someone should see a physician for a full evaluation.
People experiencing memory loss or cognitive decline may be reluctant, embarrassed or in denial about seeking help, but early detection of memory issues is essential.
If the memory issues are caused by Alzheimer’s disease, early detection affords greater opportunities to begin medications sooner to slow the progression of disease symptoms, participate in a clinical trial, take advantage of therapeutic programming, and have an active role in developing your care, health, legal and financial plans.
Just as important, not all memory issues are caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems, urinary tract infections, sleep apnea, and depression are examples of conditions that can cause memory impairments—and all are treatable or curable—but you can’t address them if you aren’t aware that they exist.
To schedule a free virtual memory screening appointment, or for more information about brain health and lifestyle choices that can help promote healthy aging, visit AFA’s website at www.alzfdn.org or call AFA’s Helpline at 866-232-8484 (open seven days a week).