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As part of National Memory Screening Day, an annual initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), Mercer County Connection and Capital Health will offer free confidential memory screenings today, November 18, 2014 from noon to 3 p.m. at Mercer County Connection, 957 Highway 33, Hamilton, NJ, 08690. Appointments are not required, but for more information, call County Connection at 609-890-9800.

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.

“Mercer County is pleased to partner with Capital Health to offer health screenings for memory,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “Whether participants use the results as benchmarks for future screenings, or have a family history of dementia that is cause for concern, we encourage people to take advantage of this free, confidential service.”

In fact, AFA suggests memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia, those whose family and friends have noticed changes in them, individuals who believe they are at risk due to a family history of dementia, or even anyone who wants 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 and the at-risk age group for Alzheimer’s disease continues to climb.

Some memory problems, like those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid issues, are readily treatable and even curable. Others might be due to Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Although there currently is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, early intervention can improve the quality of an individual’s life; available medications may help slow progression of symptoms and diagnosed individuals can more readily participate in long-term care planning.

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.

For more information about National Memory Screening Day, call (toll free) 866-232-8484 or visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.org.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, and a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with mild germaphobia, excessive self-reflection, enthusiastic television viewing, and misguided adventures in random hobbies.

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