Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ann Arbor Events Calendar | National Memory Screening through the Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Ann Arbor Events Calendar | National Memory Screening through the Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's every 70 seconds. Alzheimer's is only one cause of dementia. Some causes of dementia can be reversible, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies, or thyroid problems. Whether a person is suffering from reversible memory loss or permanent and progressive loss, early detection and diagnosis are necessary for the best outcomes.

I have met many families and patients who say they or their loved one has dementia. When I ask for the cause I often see a look like a deer in the headlights, and then hear "I don't know? You mean there raw different causes?" Some primary care physicians are too quick to diagnose someone with dementia or Alzheimer's without a thorough workup and evaluation. I've even met with clients and families who have not even seen a physician for a diagnosis. They assume Alzheimer's due to apparent memory loss. Unless someone has a thorough diagnostic evaluation assuming memory loss is permanent or Alzheimer's can be detrimental to the person suffering from memory loss. I always ask, "what IF the memory loss is reversible?" What if it could be reversed by vitamins, or thyroid medication?

Of course with the rather shocking statistics of Alzheimer's diagnosis, many will not receive such good news, but even if the news is permanent and progressive early diagnosis can get the person on a medication regimen that may slow the progression, help the patient function better, and can help everyone involved accept and prepare for the future at a much earlier and crucial time for intervention. The statistics show that early diagnosis in reversible and permanent dementia is much more beneficial and effective.

So for the first time this November 16th, my Visiting Angels agency in Ann Arbor is partnering with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America to provide free Memory Screenings from 10am- 4pm, at 2860 Carpenter Rd. Suite 300. We are located in the Sparrow Wood Office Center.

We will be offering referrals for thorough diagnostic screening if indicated, educational materials, 2 video presentations on "Communicating with persons with Alzheimers and dementia", and light refreshments.

The video presentations will be held at 11am and 1 pm and are approximately one hour. These presentations are excellent and will definitely benefit families possibly facing permanent dementia or those whose loved one has already been diagnosed. We use these presentations as part of our staff training and always receive excellent feedback from even our most experienced staff. Appropriate communication techniques help provide dignity and respect for the person suffering from dementia as well as help family caregiver's reduce their stress. Alzheimer's and dementia are very difficult diseases that require knowledge and training to have the best quality of life for all involved. Uneducated family members often find themselves arguing with a disease, frustrated by ineffective communication, while being increasingly short temperedvwith their affected loved one. This leaves the affected person feeling hurt, embarrassed, and depressed. It's amazing how learning and applying effective communication techniques can change everything for the better. Most of the frustration, stress, and even anger can be eliminated with education. Unless you work in this field, how would you know the best and most appropriate ways to deal with a loved one's memory loss,
functional loss, and even behavior issues?

We hope our partnership with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America for National Memory Screening Day will help those in our community who are concerned with memory loss get diagnosed earlier, or ease their minds. We also hope that families of diagnosed loved ones will take advantage of the educational materials and presentations. Any increased awareness of Alzheimer's is beneficial to those who one day may face this dreaded disease and towards increased funding for research. Lots of new information is being found through research that will bring us closer to causes, treatments, and hopefully a cure. I can' think of a more difficult and life stealing disease than Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's isn't a patients disease, it is a disease that affects us all in one way or another. Family caregiver's can be affected more than their loved one afflicted with this. We all need to recognize that Alzheimer's doesn't discriminate. Any one of us or our loved ones can find ourselves facing the physician who gives those dreaded words, "you have Alzheimer's". That diagnosis brings an instant and very difficult life change for the patient and family.
So if you know anyone concerned with memory loss there are screening sites all over the nation. Go to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America for more information or a site near you.

For great information, education, the latest in research, treatments, and support I invite you to visit and subscribe to the #1 site on Alzheimer's, the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

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