Friday, November 2, 2007

The Who and What's for and of Memory Screening

Memory is a fascinating thing. Why is it that some things are easier to remember than others. For example, I cannot recall a series of four numbers easily, even to the extent of when people hurriedly give me their phone numbers. Even in the two second attempt to write it down, the numbers are gone.

A few days ago, I posted about National Memory Screening Day. Since that time, and a party later, questions have arose about how to tell if you should get a memory screening. How do you tell if it is acute memory loss verses aging? Good question.

So according to the National Memory Screening web site (in case you have not looked for yourself), here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  • 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?
If you have answered "yes" to any of these questions, you might want to consider getting a screening.

Other questions that I have heard this week include "what is the memory screening process." Again according to the same web site it is as follows:

  • Various types of healthcare professionals provide memory screenings, including social workers, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and doctors.
  • The face-to-face screening takes place in a private setting; only the individual being tested and the clinician are present.
  • A screening consists of a series of questions and/or tasks designed to test memory, language skills, thinking ability, and other intellectual functions. Screening tools include a Mini-Mental Status Exam, a Seven-Minute Screen and a clock drawing.
  • The person who administers the screening will review the results with you, and suggest whether you should follow up with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional for more extensive testing.
  • Results of the memory screenings are confidential. Typically, you will receive the screening results to bring to your healthcare professional or, with your permission, the clinician at the screening will send the results to your physician.
  • No comments: