Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health
Free Memory Screening at 2,500 Places on November 15; All Kmart Pharmacies
9th annual memory day by Alzheimers Foundation of America has 30 professional organizations joining in
Nov. 7, 2011 - As federal officials and other experts work toward developing the first-ever national plan that will
address the growing crisis of Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) is encouraging Americans to take their own
steps to be proactive about memory health by taking advantage of free memory screenings during its National Memory Screening Day (NMSD) on
Held during National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, the event this year will involve about 2,500 sites that will
provide confidential memory screenings and distribute information about memory problems, successful aging and resources. Sites include
Alzheimer's agencies, senior centers, libraries, long-term care residences, home care agencies, hospitals, doctors' offices and pharmacies,
including the entire chain of Kmart pharmacies nationwide.
To locate a site, visit
www.nationalmemoryscreening.org or call 866-AFA-8484.
AFA has championed community memory screenings since 2003 for people who have memory concerns, a family history of
Alzheimer's disease or who want to check their memory now and for future comparison. Many past participants have indicated that the screenings
mark the first time they are discussing memory concerns, despite recent visits to their doctors.
Underscoring the need for greater attention to Alzheimer's disease are studies that show that general practitioners miss
about half of dementia cases. As well, with advanced age the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, which currently affects 5.1
million Americans, the incidence is increasing dramatically in line with aging baby boomers.
Recently, AFA strongly urged that the current efforts to craft a national plan to defeat Alzheimer's disease include
beefed-up efforts toward early detection, including a public service campaign to drive proper diagnosis and treatment, and inclusion of
cognitive screening as part of the new Medical Annual Wellness Exam.
"Our nation needs to get this disease under control. A big part of that is talking about memory concerns in the first
place. Only from there can people move on to get a proper diagnosis, treatment and support, as well as plan for the future," said
Eric J. Hall, AFA's founding president and CEO, who serves on the new Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research,
Care and Services established by the National Alzheimer's Disease Project Act to advise on the national plan.
Who Should be Screened?
Memory screenings make sense for anyone concerned
about memory loss or experiencing
warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; or who
believe they are at risk due to a family history of Alzheimer's disease or a related illness. Screenings also are appropriate for
anyone who does not have a concern right now, but who wants to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons.
These questions might help you decide if you should be screened. If you
answer "yes" to any of them, you might benefit from a memory screening.
Am I becoming more forgetful?
Do I have trouble concentrating?
Do I have difficulty performing familiar tasks?
Do I have trouble recalling words or names in conversation?
Do I sometimes forget where I am or where I am going?
Have family or friends told me that I am repeating questions or saying the same thing over and over again?
Am I misplacing things more often?
Have I become lost when walking or driving?
Have my family or friends noticed changes in my mood, behavior, personality, or desire to do things?
Note: A memory screening is not used to diagnose any
particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional.
www.nationalmemoryscreening.org or call 866-AFA-8484
The 9th annual event has garnered the support of 30 leading professional associations, including the American Academy of
Neurology, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, the American Geriatrics Society,
the American Pharmacists Association, and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, as well as organizations that represent other
degreed professionals, direct care employees, family caregivers and long-term care organizations.
The almost 1,000 Kmart pharmacies nationwide will be offering memory screenings, as well as blood pressure and body mass
index screenings and other services, as part of the chain's Health and Wellness In-Store Event on November 15;
Super Kmart stores will host the event on different days.
Warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include forgetting people's names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of
verbal or written skills, and confusion over daily routines.
Event sponsors are Forest Laboratories and Senior Helpers, as silver sponsors; and Accera Inc., Eli Lilly and Company,
and Novartis, as remembrance sponsors.
Also to mark National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, several hundred sites nationwide will hold local candle
lighting ceremonies as part of AFA's National Commemorative Candle Lighting on November 13. For more
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit
organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals
confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include counseling and referrals by licensed social workers via a
toll-free hot line, e-mail, Skype and live chat; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training.
For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit
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