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Free Alzheimer's screenings available today

Duncan Banner - 11/9/2018

Nov. 06--The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is partnering with Duncan Regional to provide free screenings for Alzheimer's today.

The screenings are open from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Inspirations, 1308 Jackie Road in Duncan, according to Amy Toomey, MS, LMFT, and Inspirations manager.

"The screening is conducted by a licensed mental health professional," she said. "We have licensed professional counselors and a licensed marital and family therapist. The people in the screening should consist of the professional and the person who has concerns for changes in his or her thinking."

Appointments are not necessary. Screenings might come with a recommendation for follow-up care treatment as necessary.

"Screenings are intended to be brief and probably average 15 minutes each," Toomey said. "We want to be sure we answer any questions the participant and/or family member may have and also make referrals, if necessary."

Signs of memory problems might prompt people to get screenings.

"The screening is for anyone who has concerns about changes in their memory or the memory of a loved one," Toomey said. "Increased difficulty remembering appointments, important dates or events is one change in thinking to be aware of. Other changes could be increased difficulty with planning or complex tasks, such as following a recipe or balancing a checkbook."

Other signs include:

--People ask for information repeatedly.

--Misplace items frequently.

--Require more memory aids.

--Become confused as to the date or time of day.

"Some people do not recognize these changes in themselves, which is why family and/or peers can be helpful in determining when people's thinking begins to change," she said.

The free screenings have been happening for the last several years, and Toomey had to increase the number they do today.

"For the past three to five years, we have completed a minimum of 25 screenings. We hope to surpass or maybe even double that number this year," she said.


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