Myriad community venues, such as local Alzheimer's agencies, senior centers, long-term care facilities and retail pharmacies, have signed on. Among them, pharmacists at 42 Fred Meyer Stores in Oregon and Washington are providing screenings every day by appointment.
"We thought this would be a great thing because we're reaching people who might not otherwise get screened," said Jennifer Davis, PharmD., pharmacy clinical coordinator at Fred Meyer. "We wanted to raise the public's consciousness, be available to our patients and be an easy source of information."
Garden Square of Greeley in Colorado signed up for the Community Memory Screenings program after having participated in National Memory Screening Day. In April, the assisted living facility offered screenings at two community centers as part of a two-day regional health fair - and, to its surprise, more than 400 people got tested. With such enormous demand, it now plans memory screenings several times a year at its two residences, in Greeley and Westlake, and at health fairs.
Lasha Seaman, the facility's Life Enrichment director, said she is "fascinated" by the overwhelming number of participants.
"People are obviously interested," she said. "They're concerned about the day-to-day memories they forget, and they want to know more about how their brain is working and what to watch for."
Currently, Alzheimer's disease affects as many as 4.2 million Americans and the incidence is expected to triple by mid-century. Warning signs include memory loss, especially of recent events, trouble completing familiar tasks, poor judgment and confusion. AFA advises anyone exhibiting these symptoms to check out their concerns with a healthcare professional.
|SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America|
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