Alzheimer's Foundation for Caregiving in Canada Inc.

Alzheimer's Foundation for Caregiving in Canada Inc.

June 01, 2011 08:00 ET

Alzheimer's Foundation to Hold Free Memory Screening Event

RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 1, 2011) - The Alzheimer's Foundation for Caregiving in Canada (AFCC) will offer free, confidential memory screenings and educational materials to individuals who have memory concerns or who want to check their memory now and for future comparison at its 4th annual National Memory Screening Day on June 14.

Coinciding with Seniors' Month in Canada, the event marks AFCC's major national initiative aimed at raising awareness of the importance of proper detection of memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, as well as educating the public about successful aging.

Memory concerns are moving more into the spotlight as the country's population rapidly ages. Currently, it is estimated that more than half a million Canadians have Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, and the incidence is expected to more than double in the next 25 years as more individuals turn 65 or older. Advancing age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions and, ultimately, death.

Qualified healthcare professionals at about 100 locations will provide the face-to-face, non-invasive memory screenings, which consist of a series of questions and tasks and take approximately five minutes to administer. Screening sites include participating Lawtons, Sobeys, Thrifty Foods, Metro and Overwaitea Foods pharmacies as well as some independent pharmacies and long term care facilities. Sites are listed at www.nationalmemoryscreening.ca.

"Getting a free screening on National Memory Screening Day sets the wheels in motion to find out what's at the root of memory problems. Being proactive pays off in the short-term and long-term, by opening the door to proper treatment and care that can improve quality of life," said Eric J. Hall, AFCC's founder and CEO.

The screening results do not represent a diagnosis, and screeners encourage individuals with below normal scores as well as those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical exam. Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Other memory problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible, such as Alzheimer's disease. In general, the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat one of these conditions.

On National Memory Screening Day last year, an estimated 5,000 Canadians took advantage of the screenings. Among them, more than 16 percent scored below normal and were referred to their primary healthcare provider or other healthcare professionals for follow-up.

The remembrance sponsor of the event this year is The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.

About the AFCC

The Alzheimer's Foundation for Caregiving in Canada (AFCC) is a national not-for profit charity headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario whose mission is to provide optimal care to individuals with dementia and their families. Its member organizations provide programs and services to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by the brain disorder. For more information, visit www.alzfdn.ca or call 1-877-321-2595. Media contact: Robyn Brooking, BMC Inc. 416-284-2200.

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