Getting a Diagnosis, Memory Clinics, and Memory Screens
Dementia is a term for a set of symptoms, symptoms that are caused by specific diseases. There are 85-90 different disease 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? 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 approaches 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 dementia or just 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.
After a Diagnosis of Dementia
The following websites offer educational content and resources. Many of these sites also have online/virtual offerings and support groups.
Music and Memory
The ADRC of Northwest Wisconsin now provides a program called Music and Memory. Through this program, caregivers and individuals with dementia work with the Dementia Care Specialist to create individualized playlists that include songs that bring back wonderful memories and feelings from the past. Beloved music:
- Help reduce depression and anxiety and can also moderate pain.
- Tap into deep memories and can improve quality of life.
- Creates joy and happiness and can help participants be more social and receptive to care and family visits.
- Helps reduce reliance on anti-psychotic, anti-depressants, and pain medications.
Anyone can benefit from the power of listening to musical favorites, especially individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia who enjoy music. Participants receive one MP3 player, one set of headphones, and 2 personalized playlists. Contact the ADRC at 877-485-2372.