Memory loss can be very trying on individuals and their families, but having the proper information and support can help.
One such way Comfort Keepers In-Home Care is helping is by hosting the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s annual memory screening.
Held at the Elks Club, 1720 N. Montana Ave., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 19, National Memory Screening Day, the free screening is designed for people who have concerns about losing their memory, or who believe a spouse or family member may be showing early signs of dementia.
With various activities, such as drawing a clock from memory or remembering an address, the screening is just a five-minute preliminary testing, and if there is a positive lean toward issues, individuals are referred to physicians, explained Comfort Keepers owner Cindy Lewis.
“I think when folks realize they are losing their memory, it’s a very scary issue,” she said. “But we try to help folks realize that they’re not crazy (…) give people peace of mind.”
Having the screening for the ninth year, they have seen the number of people screened consistently grow, starting with about 30 people the first year and growing to 114 last year.
The screenings are held in blocked off areas, and given by nurses and social workers, including some who can translate screenings into Spanish.
There will be food, coffee and information available at the screenings, as well as various vendors for health related organizations and companies including pharmacies, hospices, nursing homes, assisted living houses and insurance companies.
The most important thing to remember is that, although not always easy to accept, having dementia does not mean life can’t be enjoyed, Lewis reminded.
“Please don’t ask someone with memory loss to remember,” she said simply. “It’s about finding different ways to communicate in order to still enjoy the quality of life.”
For more information, call Comfort Keepers at 624-9999 or visit the screening website, nationalmemoryscreening.org.