Foundation Offers Free Online Memory Screenings

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by Mary Chapman |

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To promote brain health, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is offering free online memory screenings that people can participate in from home.

The confidential screenings — part of the AFA’s National Memory Screening Program — are provided Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. They are conducted one-on-one through secure videoconferencing. There are no age or insurance requirements.

“Memory screenings are an important part of a good health and wellness routine,” said Charles J. Fuschillo Jr., AFA president and CEO, in a press release. “We want to make sure that individuals can obtain them from the safety and comfort of their own homes. Being proactive about your brain health is critically important, which is why we encourage everyone to take advantage of this free service.”

The noninvasive screenings last about 10 to 15 minutes and consist of questions aimed at assessing memory, language, thinking skills, and other intellectual functions. The AFA said screenings are akin to those for blood pressure, cholesterol, and skin health, for example.

While results are not a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or any related disorder, a memory screening can suggest whether a participant should consider seeing a physician for a complete evaluation. Frequently, memory issues can be caused by treatable or curable conditions such as a thyroid problem or vitamin deficiency.

If memory problems are caused by Alzheimer’s or a related disorder, early detection can lead to early treatment, clinical trial participation, and a more active role in care plan development. In addition, caregivers and other family members can take advantage of support groups and other community services.

Primary symptoms that lead a patient or their family to seek an Alzheimer’s diagnosis are usually associated with forgetfulness and confusion. The patient typically has difficulties with short-term memory, orientation, concentration, and task completion. Visit this AFA page to help you decide whether you should be screened.

Call the AFA’s helpline at 866-232-8484 to make a screening appointment or for more information about the program, Alzheimer’s disease, or support services. Screenings require a computer, smartphone, or tablet that has a webcam.

The AFA’s program offers free and confidential memory screenings to people nationwide. Go here for sites.

About 44 million people globally live with Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia.

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