Memory Screenings: A First Step Toward Diagnosis

Memory Screenings: A First Step Toward Diagnosis

February 20, 2013 - 10:30 am

Does your loved one keep forgetting where he put his keys? Can’t remember what she had for lunch? Or if she had lunch? A certain amount of memory loss is normal with age, and often depression can negatively affect cognitive functions. But, because Alzheimer’s and dementia are so prevalent, it’s natural to want to know if treatments are needed. If you are concerned about a loved one, a memory screening is a good first step in determining whether it’s depression or dementia. If it’s depression, memory, concentration and energy will bounce back with treatment. Treatment for dementia will also improve quality of life, and in some types of dementia, symptoms can be reversed, halted or slowed.

Memory screenings make sense for anyone:

  • who is concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia;
  • who has family and friends noticing changes in his/her behavior;
  • who believes he/she is at risk due to a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or related illness; or
  • who does not have a concern right now, but who wants to establish a baseline score for comparison in the future.

And, anyone answering “yes” to any of these questions 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?
  • 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 in a familiar neighborhood?
  • Have my family or friends noticed changes in my mood, behavior, personality or desire to do things?

It is important to note that memory screenings are not meant to diagnose a particular illness and should never replace a consultation with a physician. If you would like more information about the differences between depression and dementia or to learn more about our home care services, contact Partners in HealthCare today!

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