HCN News & Notes

Area Communities Offering Complimentary Memory Screenings

AGAWAM — Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affects nearly 350,000 people in Massachusetts, and the numbers continue to grow. This spring, the Atrium at Cardinal Drive, a Benchmark mind and memory-care community, and Orchard Valley at Wilbraham, a Benchmark assisted-living and mind and memory-care community, will host a series of memory screenings at area senior centers.

Memory screenings are appropriate for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing symptoms of dementia or who believes they are at risk due to a family history. They provide a safe, simple, face-to-face way to check a person’s memory, language, intellectual functions, and other thinking skills using a series of questions and/or tasks.

A screening can indicate if they should consult with a medical provider in order to identify what is causing memory loss. If dementia is the cause, early diagnosis can help both individuals and their family members learn about the disease, set realistic expectations, and plan for their future together.

“Like any disease, early detection is key,” said Cheryl Moran, executive director of the Atrium. “Over the past 25-plus years, we’ve seen that people and families affected by dementia often delay planning, which makes for a much more challenging situation later. By offering this to the community, we want to help ease the burden.”

Screenings will be offered on the following dates and times:

• Monday, April 10, 10 a.m. to noon, Wilbraham Senior Center, 45B Post Office Park;

• Monday, April 24, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., West Springfield Senior Center, 128 Park St.;

• Wednesday, May 17, 10 a.m. to noon, Agawam Senior Center, 954 Main St.; and

• Wednesday, May 31, noon to 2 p.m., Palmer Senior Center, 1029 Central St.

Attendees can register for the date and time that works for them by contacting the senior center hosting the event at (413) 596-8379 (Wilbraham), (413) 263-3264 (West Springfield), (413) 821-0605 (Agawam), or (413) 283-2670 (Palmer).