Results of inaugural National Memory Screening Day reinforce the benefits of screening and early detection

    Alzheimer's Foundation for Caregiving in Canada sets next screening day
    for June, 2009

    RICHMOND HILL, ON, Jan. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Alzheimer's Foundation for
Caregiving in Canada's (AFCC) inaugural National Memory Screening Day, which
took place on November 18, 2008, showed that the majority of participants (65
percent) who underwent free screening were concerned about their memory, but
only 12 percent had previously discussed the issue with their primary
healthcare professional. Nearly one in four (24.1 percent) of those who were
screened had below normal scores and were referred to their healthcare
provider for further evaluation.
    Introduced by AFCC order to promote the early detection of memory
problems and to educate the public about memory concerns, successful aging and
resources, the non-diagnostic screenings took place at local sites throughout
Canada including more than 50 Wal-Mart and 10 London Drug pharmacies, as well
as retirement and nursing homes and health care professional offices.
    Approximately 1,000 people took advantage of the free confidential
screenings, and several thousand other picked up educational materials or
contacted AFCC for additional resources.
    Based on the success of the event, AFCC also announced today that it will
be holding National Memory Screening Day annually, and beginning in 2009, it
will take place in June, rather than November, to coincide with Seniors'
Month. AFCC's second annual screening day is set for Tuesday, June 23.
    "Our population is aging and with that comes an increased risk of memory
issues," said Taras Rohatyn, AFCC's President. "It is becoming more and more
critical that Canadians feel comfortable talking about their memory problems -
and it is vital that they act on them. While not all memory complaints are
Alzheimer's disease, the earlier an individual knows exactly what the problem
is, the earlier he or she can be treated, plan for the future and embrace
those social support programs already in place."
    On National Memory Screening Day, healthcare professionals administered
the face-to-face non-invasive screenings, which consist of a series of
questions and tasks. The screening results do not represent a diagnosis, and
those participants with below-normal scores or who still had concerns, were
referred to their primary healthcare providers.
    Screening participants were also asked to partake in a voluntary survey
to help AFCC learn more about their attitudes toward memory screening and
their behaviours. Most of those who took part in the screening (82 percent)
were between the ages of 50 and 75. Highlights from the informal survey showed

    - One in five (18.5%) of participants achieved below normal scores
    - People came in for screening because they:

           - Noticed that they are more forgetful (46 percent)
           - Wanted to check their memory and get a baseline for future
             screening (40 percent)
           - Have relatives with Alzheimer's disease (21 percent)

    - 90 percent said their health care providers had never given them a
      memory screening before.

    Rohatyn said it was significant to release the survey results this month
which is Alzheimer Awareness Month.
    "The results underscore the benefits of memory screenings, especially as
a first step toward proper diagnosis. AFCC is committed to raising awareness
of memory concerns in general and Alzheimer's disease in particular
year-round, including holding events like National Memory Screening Day in
June" he said.
    National Memory Screening Day last year was sponsored by OVOS Natural
Health Inc., as a platinum sponsor and Lundbeck Canada Inc. as a remembrance

    About the AFCC

    The Alzheimer's Foundation for Caregiving in Canada (AFCC) is a national
not-for profit charity headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario and provides
programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of its
caregiver member organization who service families affected by Alzheimer's
disease and related illnesses. For additional information please

For further information:

For further information: Robert Appleton, Director of Development &
Communication, 1-877-321-2594,

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