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November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

On November 18, 2014 individuals can take advantage of free confidential memory screenings as part of National Memory Screening Day, an annual initiative to promote proper detection of memory problems. Hope Dementia & Alzheimer’s Services, part of HopeHealth’s family of services, will provide memory screenings at 12 locations across southeastern Massachusetts. Screenings will be held at senior centers in Barnstable, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Mashpee, New Bedford, Orleans, Plymouth, Sandwich and Yarmouth.

As many as 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The number is escalating in line with the aging population; the first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011. Advanced age is the greatest risk factor, with the incidence of the disease doubling every five years between 65 and 95. One in nine people aged 65 and older have the disease, affecting 120,000 individuals age 65 and older in Massachusetts.

A memory screening averages 30 minutes and consists of questions and tasks to assess memory. It does not diagnose any illness, but can indicate whether someone should pursue a follow-up medical exam. It is estimated that missed diagnoses of dementia may be as high as 90 percent.

Memory screenings are administered by Hope Dementia & Alzheimer’s Services trained staff. For more information, call 508-775-5656 or visit