Getting a Diagnosis, Memory Clinics, and Memory Screens
Dementia is a term for a set of symptoms and there are 85-90 different causes or types of dementia. Each is very different, responds differently to medications and treatments, and may affect you differently. In addition, some are even reversible! That is why it is very important to find out what specific type of dementia you have. In addition, early and timely diagnosis of the cause is very important. It allows you and your family to plan, maximize care and treatments, and make decisions regarding your future and end of life wishes together. How do you get an accurate and timely diagnosis? When you have heart problems you go to a cardiologist–a specialist–so when you have issues with your brain you act no differently. Memory Clinics are special clinics equipped with the specialist required to help you figure out what specific type of dementia you have.
We have included a list of local Memory Clinics in our ADRC Resource Guide in the Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia and Memory Loss section. You can also find a list of Memory Clinics statewide through the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute. The Alzheimer’s Association also has a webpage of information dedicated to explaining the diagnosis process, questions to ask, and the tests and approach used for diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease. Click here to go to that page.
If you have concerns about your memory but aren’t quite sure if it is an issue or if it is a normal part of aging you can get a Memory Screen at the ADRC of Northwest Wisconsin. Call us at 877-485-2372 to schedule an appointment. A Memory Screen is a short test our staff can do with you that helps determine if further evaluation of your memory concerns is needed. It is never a bad idea to talk with your primary care physician any time you have memory concerns.
The Alzheimer’s Association provides information, resources, and education on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Visit the I have Alzheimer’s Webpage within the Alzheimer’s Association website to learn information you need to know after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.
Go through the Alzheimer’s Association’s Taking Action Workbook to be better prepared for your journey ahead with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.
A Memory Cafe is a place for individuals to go who are in the beginning stages of dementia to socialize, have good conversation, participate in a fun activity and/or meet new people that are on a similar journey. They provide a safe, stigma-free atmosphere for not only the individual with dementia but also their family members and caregivers. At least one family member, caregiver or friend is asked to attend with their loved one with dementia. Note: A Memory Cafe is different than a support group. It is about social time for individuals with dementia and their caregivers/family members in a safe environment. A support group is more focused on helping people find support, resources and information needed to live better with the disease or continue caring for someone with the disease.
Click here to download a flyer with details for the Memory Cafe in Amery and to print.