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Important Details About Memory Screening

By Mark Silvanic, 9:00 am on

Memory screening tests are designed to evaluate a senior’s current cognitive ability. Some adults submit to screenings without having difficulties as a means of determining what is normal for them. Other elderly adults undergo testing when problems arise or at the urging of Colorado Springs, CO, dementia caregivers. However, the screenings do not form a diagnosis. Any indications of deficits noted by a confidential memory screening should be discussed with a health care provider to determine and underlying cause. 

Varied Screenings

There are many different types of memory screening tests used that might focus on short and long-term memory alone or additionally evaluate other cognitive skills. The length of the screening varies with the type of test. Some have as few as 12 questions while others feature two pages of inquiries. The time required to complete the screening also varies from 30 minutes to one hour. The assessments might be performed in an informal local setting such as a community center. Seniors might also undergo the test in the office of a healthcare provider. 

Each question or activity on a screening carries a specified number of points. The amount of points awarded depends on whether the question was answered correctly, was partially correct or incorrect. After completion, the screening examiner tallies the results, which typically fall into normal, mildly, moderately or severely impaired categories. In the event that these screenings indicate memory impairment, seniors often require further evaluation from a medical professional and assistance from a Colorado Springs Alzheimer’s home care provider.

Types of Questions

Screenings often contain language skills questions that require the short and long-term memory of a series of words. Seniors might also be asked to create a sentence or finish a well-known saying. Some screenings ask that elderly adults remember a series of numbers or count by a multiple of numbers. For example, count by threes or sevens. They might also be asked to identify a series of numbers in reverse.

Tests that also evaluate other cognitive abilities typically determine if the senior is aware of the current date, season and physical location. A question might involve naming a current event, their address or a recent personal engagement. Another might require drawing a copy of a simple geometric shape.

If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, Colorado Springs Home Care Assistance can help. We are the leading provider of in-home memory care for local seniors that strives to promote independence, cognitive function and overall wellbeing for our clients. Contact us today at (719) 822-1229 to learn more about our dementia services and schedule a free in-home consultation.

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