Memory Screenings

February 27, 2018

memory_screening2.jpgAt Emerald Crest, we are proud to offer Memory Screening to help enhance the quality of life of those suffering from memory loss by diagnosing the disease early on. Good health starts with the brain, and we strive to ensure that everyone has the care they need to live the most valuable life possible.

What is Memory Screening?

Memory screening is a test given by a doctor or a qualified caregiver. The results of the test are not a diagnosis, but they can help identify whether further examination is necessary. The test is short - five to ten minutes long. It consists of written or asked questions, or simple tasks to complete. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease such as irritability or aggression can be misdiagnosed as “normal aging” so if someone feels they might be experiencing memory loss, memory screening can be the first step to a diagnosis. Unfortunately, Alzheimer's remains an incurable disease. However, there are steps that can be taken to improve the quality of life for anyone with the disease. Regular check-ups with a doctor are important to identify any new symptoms or other side effects of Alzheimer’s, such as depression or cardiovascular issues.

Health in Mind and Body 

We understand that there are certain things that need to be done to keep the brain healthy, especially where memory loss is concerned. A healthy heart is important for a healthy brain. A good diet, regular activity, and avoidance of unhealthy habits such as smoking all help to decrease the risk of heart disease, which in turn decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s. Also, physical exercise keeps the blood moving, and can even stimulate the brain to create new brain cells.

Just as exercise for the body is important, so is exercise for the brain. Things like word searches, crossword puzzles, or any sort of activity or game involving mental stimulation help to keep the brain healthy. Protection for the brain and body are also important. Unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive alcohol can hinder brain growth. We recommend doing everything possible to keep the brain and body healthy for as long as possible. A healthy soul is also important for anyone suffering from dementia. This can include stress management and a maintaining a positive attitude. Relaxation activities such as yoga or positive social interactions can help improve the soul. Also, religious or spiritual involvement can help people deal with difficult life situations in a healthy way. Emerald Crest offers spiritual care which supports those with memory loss. 

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6 Tips for Successful Aging (according to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. 2013)

  1. Successful aging starts from a young age and continues into old age.
  2. Control the risk factors. Conditions such as diabetes, obesity, depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure can lead to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. Taking steps to control these factors can help lower your risk for Alzheimer’s 
  3. The Evil 3: poor diet, inactivity, smoking. Cutting these three unhealthy habits out of your routine can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes by 80%, which in turn can lower your risk for Alzheimer's 
  4. Eat smart. Say YES to colorful fruits/vegetables such as blackberries or spinach, whole grains, foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, and foods with antioxidants such as walnuts. Say NO to red meats, fried foods, saturated fats, and added sugars. 
  5. See your doctor regularly. Your doctor can provide preventative and screen benefits such as cardiovascular screenings, diabetes screenings, medical nutritional therapy services, and tobacco use cessation counseling to help keep you healthy. 
  6. Make sure your caregiver gets a check-up. Caregivers often give up time with family/friends and recreational activities, and can suffer from fatigue, headaches, or difficulty sleeping. Help them manage this by talking to someone, doing physical activities, or using relaxing techniques. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, memory screenings are a significant first step toward finding out if a person may have a memory problem. In a survey done by the AFA, 92% of participants have never been given a screening by their healthcare provider, and 83% were worries about their memory but had not discussed concern with a healthcare provider. Come in to Emerald Crest today to schedule a memory screening if you are concerned about your memory or the memory of a loved one.

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My mom was at Emerald Crest for about a year and a half. I was very grateful and appreciative for the care my mom received at Emerald Crest. I had been caring for her myself, so knowing that she was in a safe environment was a huge relief for me.

— Tomma, daughter of resident

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