BUFFALO - What is the difference between normal memory loss and symptoms of dementia?
To mark Brain Awareness Week Monday, March 11 through Sunday, March 17, the Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association is offering a number of classes geared toward outlining the differences between forgetfulness and dementia and recognizing when loss of memory may be an indication of more serious cognitive problems.
"Every single day, we answer calls about issues just like this," Chapter Executive Director Leilani Pelletier said. "It is the most common question we are asked, which is why we reach out to the public to educate them and to help whenever and wherever we can."
Classes will be offered in each of the eight counties served by the chapter, including Chautauqua.
"These classes are open to everyone, and will include basic information on the warning signs of dementia and ways you can improve your memory," Chapter Education and Training Director Meghan Fadel said. "We're also very excited about a special presentation by renowned U.B. Assistant Professor Dr. Kinga Szigeti, who will talk about local research studies that are focused on memory disorders."
For more information and to register for the following classes, call 1-800-272-3900.
Tuesday, March 12: "The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer's" at Fredonia Place, 50 Howard St., Fredonia from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, March 12: "Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters" at Jamestown Community College, Jamestown from 1 to 3 p.m.
The Alzheimer's Association staffs a free helpline available 24/7 to answer questions about dementia, caregiving and various other education and support services at 1-800-272-3900. Information can also be found online at www.alz.org/wny.
More than 5.4 million Americas are living with Alzheimer's, including 55,000 in the Western New York region, and more than 15 million family members and friends provide some kind of care for those individuals. It's estimated these caregivers provide $210 billion dollars worth of unpaid care, while dementia-related costs covered by Medicare and Medicaid top $140 billion. Read the report at www.alz.org.