During the past several months I’ve tried to focus this column on issues that impact seniors and their families, and this month is certainly no exception.
In fact, the subject for this column is one that represents one of the most feared and least talked about concerns for seniors and their loved ones today — dementia.
Perhaps the reason many seniors avoid talking about this subject is due to their fear of what this could mean to their “quality of life” in their later years.
According to the MetLife Foundation Alzheimer’s Survey, “What America Thinks,” American adults fear getting Alzheimer’s disease more than heart disease, stroke or diabetes, but almost nine out of 10 people have taken no steps to prepare for Alzheimer’s — an illness that attacks nearly 50 percent of those who live past age 85.
In light of this survey, I can certainly understand why seniors avoid such discussions, or even fear getting tested for “signs” of cognitive memory issues.
However, avoidance of this subject can prove to be harmful and unnecessary, especially when there are an increasing number of programs, or “methods‚“ that can substantially improve cognition and brain functioning in the early to mid stages of dementia, and thereby delay the impact of this disease.
This becomes even more relevant in light of the fact that November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) has designated November 19 as National Memory Screening Day.
In order to participate in a memory screening, one of the members of KARE — Martha & Mary AtHome — is conducting free memory screenings at two of their locations (Poulsbo and Port Orchard) on Tuesday, November 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Using the MIS (Memory Impairment Screen) Screening Test, which consists of several questions designed to identify potential cognitive “issues‚“ the appointment takes only 10 to 15 minutes.
If the test questions indicate that there may be reason for concern, the individual is encouraged to make an appointment with their primary care physician for further analysis and treatment.
For anyone wishing to schedule an appointment for themselves (or a loved one), you can contact Martha & Mary AtHome to make a reservation and get directions.
For the Poulsbo location call 360-394-5458, and for the Port Orchard location call 360-871-4425.
Whether you or a loved one have questions concerning cognitive memory issues, or you’ve personally experienced recent memory lapses, now is the time to get tested and obtain the information you need to better evaluate your options, and get the help you need.
Please don’t put it off another day.