Published on October 29, 2013
Bethlehem, PA – As part of National Memory Screening Day—an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)—Phoebe Ministries will offer free, confidential memory screenings on November 19. Screenings will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Assumption Parish, 4101 Old Bethlehem Pike, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Call 610-794-MIND (6463) to save a space or to find out more about the event.
Qualified healthcare professionals will administer the memory screenings and provide educational materials about memory concerns, brain health and caregiving. The face-to-face screenings consist of a series of questions and tasks, and take five to 10 minutes to administer.
“Community memory screenings are a vital resource to begin a dialogue about memory loss. It is important to provide the public with more information about this subject because of people’s anxiety about possible dementia,” says Marian Worthington, CMC, Director of Phoebe At Home Services.
AFA suggests memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; who believe they are at risk due to a family history of dementia; or who want to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons.
Screeners emphasize that results are not a diagnosis, and encourage individuals who score poorly as well as those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical examination.
Such screenings are becoming increasingly important as the number of Baby Boomers turning age 65—the at-risk age group for Alzheimer’s disease—continues to climb. The federal government’s historic “National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease” urges a greater emphasis on both early diagnosis and education about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
However, an AFA survey of 2010 National Memory Screening Day participants found that 92 percent of those polled had never been given a screening by their primary healthcare provider; and 83 percent who were worried about their memory had not discussed their concerns with a healthcare provider.
Dubbed by many as a “silver tsunami,” the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple to 13.8 million by mid-century. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Phoebe Ministries is a non-profit, multi-facility organization specializing in healthcare, housing, and support services for seniors. Founded in 1903 and affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Phoebe Ministries offers a full continuum of care to suit the diverse needs of senior adults. Located in seven Pennsylvania counties and serving thousands of seniors annually, Phoebe features four continuing care retirement communities, eight affordable housing facilities, and two pharmacies. For over a century Phoebe’s tradition of excellence and passion for caring have made us the leader in care for senior adults and their family members.