By: Whitney Thompson, MPH, CHES
Dementia Care Specialist for the ADRC of Southwest Wisconsin
We go to the doctor for checkups on our physical health. We are willing to do screenings for things such as our blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Brain health should be included in our overall wellness checks, too!
The Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Southwest Wisconsin offers memory screens. A memory screen is a wellness tool that helps identify possible changes in memory and cognition. The screens at the ADRC are free and only take about ten minutes to complete. It helps determine a baseline of where a person is at so that futures changes can be monitored, but it is not used to determine a diagnosis. If changes are detected, the ADRC employee can help the individual follow-up with a physician and connect them to additional resources.
Memory screens are important because they can help with early detection in memory and cognitive changes. Why is early detection important? Early detection is important because the changes associated with memory and cognition could be due to health conditions that are reversible such as infection, issues with the thyroid, medication effects, pain, and dehydration. If a person does have dementia, early detection is important because it allows the individual with dementia to prioritize and to be proactive in planning for their future. Early detection is also important because current treatments are more effective in the early stages and there are greater opportunities to educate caregivers.
If you are interested in a memory screen, have questions about the screen, or need any other assistance related to dementia, contact your local Aging & Disability Resource Center to get connected to the Dementia Care Specialist by calling 877-794-2372. There are many supports and resources available.