In our later years, memory issues are common, leaving even the sharpest senior occasionally forgetful. When these issues happen more often or begin to interfere with daily tasks, it could signal something more. A simple screening tool is available that can determine if symptoms warrant a full evaluation. The screen is quick and is an annual recommendation with other checkups. When it comes to early intervention, memory screens offer insight into the unknown.
The What and Whys of Memory Screens
Memory screens are a brain checkup, if you will. The screen assesses memory and different types of thinking skills through a series of questions and tasks. It takes about 20 minutes to complete and is done by a qualified health professional or your doctor. While the screen cannot diagnose any condition, it can indicate if the person would benefit from a full evaluation.
Early intervention in conditions like Alzheimer’s means you get to play an active role in your care for longer and often have a better treatment response in earlier stages. A full evaluation and additional testing may also reveal if your memory issues are related to an underlying medical condition. Once treated, symptoms improve.
Anyone can develop Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related memory loss. Symptoms can begin as early as age 45, but most don’t know it till many years later. Memory screens are recommended once a year for adults 65 and older. Of course, those at higher risk or who are already experiencing memory issues should talk with their doctor about including a memory screen in their early intervention plan.
Memory’s Infinite Legacy
In the fight against Alzheimer’s and other dementias, hope can seemingly be as fleeting as the memories we hold dear. While there’s no cure for AD, early intervention methods help make patients’ journey a little easier. The earlier you know, the more time you have to plan, love, and ensure your legacy continues through the memories created.