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National Memory Week

National Memory Screening Week – the First Week of November 

Open the door and start the conversation!

Memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are increasingly a part of the national dialogue, especially as baby boomers retire in greater numbers. The Alzheimer’s Association notes that nearly 89 percent of Americans say that if they were exhibiting confusion and memory loss, they would want to know if the cause of the symptoms was Alzheimer’s disease.

The first week of November each year is National Memory Screening Week in the United States. It’s part of Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s national initiative to promote early detection and intervention for those concerned about memory loss as well as to educate the public about successful aging.

It’s also a terrific time to start the conversation about end of life planning, wishes and dictates, whether you or your loved one suffer from memory loss or not.  Introducing the topic is difficult for so many families. Using the context of National Memory Screening Week might be the perfect vehicle to start the dialogue.  You don’t have to cover every topic—medical, financial, etc, but at least it can open the door to future conversations.

If memory loss is a topic with relevance to your family, you should know that The Alheizmer’s Association stresses that an early and documented diagnosis leads to better outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Among the benefits cited of participating in planning early in the disease process is that individuals with Alzheimer’s can create advance directives regarding their care and finances so that their wishes can be carried out when they are no longer cognitively able to make such decisions.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America states that memory screenings make sense for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; those whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; or those 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 an immediate concern, but may want to evaluate their memory now and for future comparisons.

Learn more about National Memory Screening Week here.

Download the National Institute on Aging’s FREE document “Understanding Memory Loss:  What to do when you have trouble remembering.”

 

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