What is a Memory Screening?

Memory loss as brain amnesia problem and thoughts forget tiny persons concept. Medical issue symbolic scene with missing puzzle piece in head vector illustration. Mental fogginess patient examination.

If you suspect that you or a loved one are in the early stages of memory loss—we utilize an evidence-based screening tool to detect memory changes overtime. This service under the Alzheimer Day care Resource center is called a Memory Screening. Melissa Gerard, Alzheimer's Day Care Resource Center Program Manager, is the first person you will speak to about our programs from our early memory loss services to our caregiver support services. After talking to Melissa, you will be scheduled to meet with one of our qualified and trained social workers who will administer a memory screening using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).

Our qualified clinicians are trained to administer screening tools and are re-trained as required per certification. Memory screenings (MoCA) can be given either on-site at Providence Adult Day Health Napa Valley, or in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

MoCA is used to identify persons who might have Mild Cognitive Impairment or signs of early stages of dementia. The assessment is a 30-point, 7-question screening questionnaire.

MoCA assesses a person’s basic orientation, short-term memory, attention and working recall, divergent thinking (how many animals can you think of in one minute?), language, abstract thinking, figure recognition, spatial differentiation and reasoning/problem solving.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The consultation will take about an hour.
  • The MoCA assessment typically takes seven to ten minutes.
  • The feedback is immediate! (People often remark, “Oh good—I’m okay for now.”)
  • The results of the assessment are not a diagnosis! (That must be done by a physician.)

Our qualified clinicians, during your consultation, will point out the importance of understanding the whole person—not just what the person scores on the screening questionnaire. To view those completing the assessment from a broader perspective, the clinicians will evaluate each person’s “Five Domains of Brain Health”: Physical Exercise, Spirituality, Nutrition, Mental Stimulation and Socialization.

After administering the assessment, the team will create a care plan which outlines primary issues (if any were found) and outline “Next Steps”. Next steps may include a referral to the person’s primary care physician, to a regional Memory Diagnostic Clinic, our early memory loss programs (Mind Boosters/Brain Fitness), or to local agencies (such as Mentis). Next steps may also include recommendations for family discussion and follow-up.

To schedule a screening or for more information, please call Melissa Gerard at 707-815-6258.

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