Early Detection Screen for Dementia

The National Task Group (NTG), involving SimplyHome’s Cameron Kempson, has unveiled a screening for people with intellectual developmental disabilities who are at risk for dementia. During Summer 2012, the NTG piloted the test with seven sites completing an evaluations of the instrument.

The Early Detection Screen for Dementia is now available as an interactive PDF form. The answers can be recorded on the electronic version of the PDF and then saved electronically. The NTG wanted to promote an easy-to-use method of reliably screening and detecting dementia. They wanted the screening to be usable by paid professionals as well as caretakers. Minimal orientation or training is needed in order to conduct the test and it is easy to track changes over time.

The NTG-EDSD is also being used to identify dementia-like symptoms in people whose function and behavior may be caused by other health issues including medication interactions, depression, etc. Using the NTG-EDSD, caregivers are able to record and track changes over time in areas such as cognitive functioning and ability to adapt to new environments and experiences. While this is not something that is used to diagnose dementia, it is helpful to use as a conversation starter with other family members, caregivers and medical professionals.