Visiting nurses offer memory tests

Many older adults are concerned about memory loss. They may worry needlessly or say nothing out of fear. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County will conduct a memory screening for those who are concerned about their own memory loss or that of a loved one.

This free, confidential memory screening is by appointment only and will be conducted Thursday, Sept. 6, from 10 to noon at the Norwalk Senior Center, 11 Allen Road, in Norwalk.

Memory disorders include many types of dementia, a general term that describes a number of symptoms such as loss of memory, judgment, language and other intellectual functions. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in people over age 65. Warning signs include difficulties with new memories, finding the right words, personality changes, and confusion with respect to time, place or people.

"Research indicates that early diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders creates a window of opportunity that can serve to delay cognitive decline and improve quality of life," said Elaine Abrams, community health nurse for the agency. "Unfortunately, too few adults with memory concerns share them with a health care provider. Our goal in offering this screening is to raise awareness about memory loss and provide an opportunity for individuals to discuss their concerns openly in a safe and comfortable environment."

The memory screening takes about 10 minutes and consists of simple questions that serve to assess basic memory and other cognitive functioning. The results of the screening do not constitute a diagnosis. Any individual whose screening raises concerns will be referred to their primary care provider for further assessment. Information about memory disorders and resources for aging successfully will be available.

For information, or to make an appointment, call 203-762-8958.