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Read on for recent happenings, announcements, and notable headlines from TARCOG and its communities throughout the region.

TARCOG offers free memory testing

A memory screening is a simple and safe “healthy brain check-up” that tests memory and other thinking skills that TARCOG staff is certified to provide at no cost.

Lydia Weeks, coordinator of the Alabama Cares Program provided through TARCOG, and Darrell Hill, program case manager, will perform screenings by appointment either virtually, in person at the TARCOG office, or at community sites throughout DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison and Marshall counties.

TARCOG was recently designated as a trained memory screening site by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), after Weeks received her certification and Hill also began the certification process.

What is a memory screening?

The memory screening is a series of questions and or tasks that takes about 10 minutes to complete. It can indicate if someone might benefit from a comprehensive medical evaluation. It is not used to diagnose any illness and does not replace consultation with a physician or other clinician, Lydia said.

Why are memory screenings important?

Lydia said the screenings are a significant first step toward finding out if a person may have a memory problem. Memory problems could be caused by several medical conditions, including vitamin deficiencies, thyroid issues and depression, as well as dementia-related illnesses including Alzheimer’s.

Some memory problems such as those cause by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems, can be readily treated, she added. Other memory problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible such as Alzheimer’s disease. In general, the earlier the diagnosis the easier it is to treat one of these conditions.

“Early detection of mild cognitive impairment may afford a person the opportunity to take advantage of treatments that may slow the changes in memory and thinking skills ‑ or participate in a clinical trial,” Lydia said.

If the memory problem is the result of a dementia-related illness such as Alzheimer’s disease, she said early detection may enable the person to begin treatments and therapeutic interventions sooner, afford greater opportunity to participate in a clinical trial and take a more active role in developing their health legal and financial plans.

Other TARCOG resources

The memory screenings are a new tool for the TARCOG staff which also provides virtual dementia tours and Dementia Friendly Alabama trainings for school aged children, businesses and first responders.

For more information about services or to schedule an appointment for a memory screening, contact Lydia at or 256-830-0818.