Alzheimer’s San Diego offered free memory screenings

SAN Diego (KUSI) — Dementia can be hard to detect because its symptoms manifest slowly over time. For singer David Cassidy, his behavior at a recent concert made some fans worried for his health.

Cassidy said he acted that way during a concert in Los Angeles because he has recently been diagnosed with dementia. 

Alzheimer’s and dementia affects more than 62,000 people in San Diego County. On Tuesday, Alzheimer’s San Diego offered free memory screenings to help people find out if they are showing signs of memory loss.

Alzheimer’s San Diego said the screenings give people a baseline measurement for the strength of their memory and help weed out other potential issues like depression.

The group said the memory screenings are open to all in San Diego. 

"Most of the people that come to the memory screening are in their 50’s, 60’s, and on up. We really don’t put an age limit on it because there are so many people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia that are younger, and we want them to be able to experience those changes here, as well," said Jessica Empeno, Vice President of Programs and Facility Services with Alzheimer’s San Diego.

Alzheimer’s San Diego hosts free memory screenings up to six times per year. 

For more information, visit Alzheimer’s San Diego by clicking HERE

A little about the Memory Screening from Alzheimer’s San Diego:

Participants of the memory screening start with the AD-8 Dementia Screening Tool, which is a research-proven (evidence-based) tool sensitive to detecting early cognitive changes associated with many common dementia illnesses. It asks people to explore recent changes to thinking, decision-making, ability to do things as well as memory. 

Sample questions: In the last two years, have you had:  

  1. Problems with judgment (e.g., problems making decisions, bad financial decisions, problems with thinking) 
  2. Trouble learning how to use a tool, appliance, or gadget (e.g., VCR, computer, microwave, remote control) 
  3. Trouble handling complicated financial affairs (e.g., balancing checkbook, income taxes, paying bills)

From there, participants go through the Mini-Cog, which is a 3-5 minute screening that detects changes in memory and thinking in older adults. 

It consists of 2 main components

  1. A3-item recall test for memory
  2. A clock drawing test; seems simple but amazingly accurate in identifying changes in the brain. 

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