For many people worried about their cognition, the idea of getting a memory screen causes feelings of anxiety or fear. It’s perfectly normal to have concerns or to be uneasy about getting what some physicians refer to as a “check up from the neck up.” Here at Alzheimer’s Orange County (AlzOC), we offer complimentary memory screens called “Mind Checks” Understanding what a Mind Check is, including what you can expect, may alleviate some apprehension and put you at ease. 

Here’s what one woman had to say about her husband’s experience with his Mind Check:

"The woman who assisted us was just wonderfully compassionate and we left with a plan. My husband actually thanked me on the way home for making the appointment, as he had been worried for a while. He's been in a better mood this past week than he has been in a decade, so thank you."

A Mind Check is a wellness tool that detects possible changes in memory or thinking skills, also known as cognition. 

It is not a diagnostic tool. Therefore, we’re unable to detect the presence or absence of dementia, or determine if someone is at risk for dementia. It simply gives people a better idea of their memory capacity. 

The screening is designed for anyone either experiencing or not experiencing, memory changes but would like to have some insight into their memory ability. A Mind Check is a first-step approach that gives participants a better idea of their memory capacity. It’s a proactive measure to receive a baseline and to return six months to a year to retake the screening to detect and monitor any possible changes. 

The Mind Check takes about 30 – 45 minutes to conduct via Zoom. A trained screener from AlzOC will get in touch with you to schedule a private one-on-one virtual screening on a day and time that’s most convenient for you. We will get to know you and ask you a series of questions to better understand what you are feeling and going through. 

No one else should be in the same room or nearby when the screening is being conducted. The participant will need a computer or a tablet with both audio and webcam features. Participants do not have to do anything in advance to prepare for the screening, but we encourage you to get a good night’s sleep the night before. 

The screening results are private and confidential and will not be shared with anyone other than the participant. The participant will receive a letter that describes the screening outcome and may share it with family and friends as desired. If someone wants to have a family member or a friend screened, AlzOC has to receive consent from that individual to move forward with a Mind Check. If someone scores outside of the expected range for their age and education range, we will provide referrals to specialists who can conduct thorough cognitive tests to identify the cause of the memory changes. 

Alzheimer’s Orange County offers Mind Checks in both English and Spanish. Please call the Helpline today to schedule an appointment at 844-373-4400.

If you’d like to learn more about living a brain-healthy life, check our other MindFit OC programs here.