Southwest General Hospital

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Memory Clinic

Are you or a loved one saying "sorry I forgot" a little too often?

Older Man With PhotoWhile we all forget from time to time, it’s not normal keep forgetting things like days of the week, when to pay bills or when to take medication.  If you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss, or if you have a family history of cognitive impairment, the Memory Clinic at Southwest General can provide a memory assessment to make sure you receive the help you need.  

Memory Assessment to Confirm Impairment and Speed Early Treatment

Memory disorders and dementia are estimated to affect 20 percent of the population over aged 65.  A precursor to Alzheimer Dementia is Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which slightly affects a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, paying bills and managing medications.

MCI has been shown to progress to full Alzheimer Dementia at 12 percent annually. Ignoring the early signs of memory loss, families often wait until their loved one presents with advanced symptoms such as agitation, insomnia and psychosis, including delusions and hallucinations, to seek diagnosisand treatment.

Having an assessment performed when symptoms are mild is important because early treatment can help reverse early memory loss.

Comprehensive and Consultative Assessment Process

Southwest General’s Memory Clinic evaluates patients who are experiencing the early signs of dementia and MCI. Typical memory issue symptoms include:

  • Forgetfulness that is more frequent than usual or increased confusion
  • Word-finding issues and/or jumbled verbal sentences
  • Forgetting daily living acts like paying bills, missing appointments, taking medications, getting lost driving
  • Functional issues like unkempt appearance, dirty house, not getting out/seclusion

The actual Memory Assessment process includes diagnostic testing by a multidisciplinary team of experts. This compassionate and caring team includes a board-certified neurologist, clinical neuropsychologist, geriatrician, registered nurses and social workers. It’s a process that generally includes multiple visits consisting of the following processes:

  • A neurological assessment
  • Laboratory tests
  • Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) scans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Neuropsychological evaluation
  • Summary conference

Support Tailored to Each Patient’s Needs

During the evaluation and team summary, we will suggest resources and make recommendations to improve health functionality and the quality of you or your loved one’s life. A summary report of the assessment and the tests results will be sent to the patient’s primary care physician.

The good news is that approximately 15 percent of significant memory loss is reversible.

Early diagnosis is key to the establishment of safeguards and planning for the future. About half of the cases of mild cognitive impairment can be halted from progressing with appropriate interventions and treatment.

Insurance Coverage

Memory Assessment services are typically covered by Medicare Part B and other private insurance. A referral may be required by a patient’s primary care physician. Patients are still responsible for the portion of the bill not covered by insurance. Please note that anout-of-pocket fee will be collected if the patient is not present for the summary conference due to Medicare Billing restrictions.

We Look Forward to Helping

For more information about our Memory Clinic or to schedule an appointment, please call Geriatric Services at 440-816-4065, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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