About National Memory Screening
The sister organization of the Alzheimer's Foundation for Caregiving in Canada the Alzheimer's Foundation of America initiated National Memory Screening Day in 2003 as part of its mission to provide "optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families"…and as part of its focus on "Together for Care…in addition to Cure."
National Memory Screening Day is one of the highlights of AFCC's ongoing national effort to promote early detection of Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and to encourage appropriate intervention, including medical treatments, social services and other resources. AFCC believes that memory screenings are a significant first step toward early diagnosis
by a qualified health care professional.
AFCC carries out this event in collaboration with organizations and healthcare professionals across the Canada bringing them together for care. Participating sites offer free confidential memory screenings, as well as follow-up resources and educational materials to those concerned about memory loss.
Canada's inaugural National Memory Screening Day was held November 18, 2008.
National Memory Screening Day provides free confidential memory screenings to individuals concerned about memory loss with the objective of early detection and intervention.
The event encourages Canadians to participate by offering screenings at no charge and in convenient locations in communities across the nation.
Why are memory screenings important?
- Memory screenings are a significant first step toward early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, or another type of condition that is causing memory loss.
- Memory screenings can also let you know that you are okay. The screenings could turn out normal and put your fears to rest.
- A memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional. However, it is very helpful. A screening can test your memory, language skills, thinking ability, and other intellectual functions. It can indicate whether you might benefit from a complete medical evaluation. If the screening raises concern, see your doctor or other healthcare professional as soon as possible.
- It is very important to identify the disease or problem that is causing memory loss. That is why you should follow up with a complete check up by a qualified healthcare professional.
- Memory can be affected by a number of factors, ranging from stress and lack of sleep, to such illnesses as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
- Some conditions that cause memory loss, such as vitamin deficiencies, depression or thyroid problems, are reversible. In general, the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat one of these conditions.
- Early recognition of mild cognitive impairment (MCI)—mild intellectual loss that may develop into dementia —provides an opportunity for healthcare professionals to treat this condition, and possibly slow the decline in memory and other functions.
- For irreversible illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease, early diagnosis could improve your future health. Although there currently is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, available and emerging medical treatments may slow the progression of symptoms. These medications have been proven to work best the earlier they are given.
- Early diagnosis can improve quality of life. Individuals can learn more about the disease; get counselling and other social services support in their communities; address legal, financial and other planning issues; and have more of a say about their care.
- Caregivers and other family members can take advantage of community services, such as support groups, which will make them feel better—physically and emotionally. They can discuss treatment, future care and other issues with their loved ones, rather than having to make decisions for them.
- For persons with a normal screen, memory screenings provide a valuable opportunity to learn more about how to keep their brains healthy and pursue successful aging.