If you suspect that you or a loved one are in the early stages of memory loss—we have a program tailor-made to support you: Memory Screening. Jill Wood, MSW, Program Director and Social Services Manager for our Day Program, makes use of SLUMS (yes, this really is the name)—otherwise known as the St. Louis University Mental Status Exam. As qualified clinicians, Jill and her staff are trained to administer the exam and are re-trained annually. The exam can be given either on-site at Collabria Care, or in the privacy of your own home. 

Used to identify persons who have dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment, the exam is a 30-point, 11-question screening questionnaire. SLUMS assesses a person’s basic orientation, attention and working recall, divergent thinking (how many animals can you think of in one minute?), language, figure recognition, spatial differentiation and reasoning/problem solving. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The whole screening takes about an hour
  • The SLUMS exam typically takes seven to ten minutes
  • The feedback is immediate! (People often remark, “Oh good—I’m okay for now.”)
  • The results of the exam are not a diagnosis! (That must be done by a physician.) 

Jill points out that it’s very important to understand the whole person—not just what the person scores on the test. To view exam takers from a broader perspective, she evaluates each person’s “Five Domains of Brain Health”: Physical Exercise, Spirituality, Nutrition, Mental Stimulation and Socialization. 

After administering the exam, Jill or her staff complete a “Consultation for Memory Screening Next Steps,” which outlines primary issues (if any were found). Next steps may include a referral to the person’s primary care physician, to a regional Memory Diagnostic Clinic, or to local agencies (such as Mentis). Next steps may also include recommendations for family discussion and follow-up. Please feel free to call Jill with any questions, at 707. 258.9087, or visit https://collabriacare.org/collabria-day-program/.