Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
As people get older, the brain changes. Differentiating between normal signs of aging and the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias can be difficult. Alzheimer’s Disease goes beyond the normal aging process, and it is the most common type of dementia. Presently, more than 6.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that by 2060 that number will be close to fourteen million.
Typically, Alzheimer’s Disease occurs after 65 years old, but infrequently, it has been diagnosed in younger individuals. Some early signs include memory loss, especially short term, forgetting names, important dates, words, frequently displacing objects, asking the same questions repeatedly and habits of disorganization.
The website Genentech states that “although there or are many benefits to an early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, there are still significant barriers to achieving it. These barriers may include some ethnic myths, a person’s perception that they will be treated differently, worry about the impact of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and concerns about the cost of treatment or lack of health insurance. It is important to acknowledge these barriers because they can delay early detection and diagnosis” www.allforalz.com
Genentech goes on to state that “women, Black Americans, and Hispanics/Latinos are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, but less likely to be diagnosed in a timely manner. When diagnosed late, the costs of care are higher and the ability to receive treatment may be limited” www.allforalz.com
It behooves us to take note that, although at this time there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, early detection and intervention may slow down the progressive pace of this disease in individuals. Therefore, any suspicion regarding memory issues should be investigated. It should be noted that memory problems can be linked to other causes. However, memory screening is a simple test that is an asset to positive intervention and answer to troubling concerns.
Where can I get a memory screening?
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America currently provides free memory screenings virtually through secure video conference technology every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A smart phone, laptop, tablet or any other device with a webcam and Internet capability is all that is needed. Appointments can be requested by calling AFA at 866-232-8484 or clicking here.
Additionally, many physicians perform memory screenings. Memory screenings are covered by Medicare as part of the Medicare Wellness Program and are often covered by insurance companies as well.