Is This Normal Forgetfulness or Something More Serious? – Recognizing Early Symptoms with Teepa Snow

This event took place in 2009. 

On November 12, 2009 we are very pleased to announce an evening session with Teepa Snow.  Invited back by popular demand, the session is specifically for caregivers of people with dementia by the nationally recognized expert, Teepa Snow.  

5:00 – 6:30pm at Mabel Smythe Auditorium at the Queen’s Medical Center

We are partnering with the Queen’s Medical Center, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program.  More details as they become available but hold the date now.


This session is designed to provide attendees with some of the key early indicators that signal the presence of cognitive changes that are not part of the normal aging process. Emphasis will be placed on helping learners to recognize and respond to typical symptoms of many different dementing illnesses as well as exploring other possible causes for the changes.

Cognitive disorders and delirium may be complications of cancer and cancer treatment, especially in people with advanced cancer.  In patients with cancer, cognitive disorders and delirium may be due to the direct effects that cancer has on the brain, such as the pressure of a growing tumor.  Cognitive disorders and delirium may also be caused by indirect effects of cancer or its treatment.

The importance of determining whether what is happening might be reversible of due to another health problem, such as cancer, an acute illness or medication side effects. The various terms: forgetfulness, mild cognitive impairment, depression, dementia, delirium, Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, vascular dementia, Frontal temporal dementias, and others will be discussed and defined.

By the end of the program attendees will have some specific behaviors to look for, recommendations for what to do if there is evidence of change going on, and an awareness that there are other possible causes for changing skills and that each and every elder deserves a good work-up prior to an assumption that either „It’s nothing to worry about!", "This is just a side effect from cancer treatment!" or „After 65, it’s probably dementia so maybe we should just start you on something and see how it goes!".


By the end of the session, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between normal aging changes and the onset of dementia
  • Recognize typical behaviors and symptoms associated with dementia
  • Discuss other possible causes for changes in thinking abilities that should be explored prior to assuming the changes are due to a dementing illness


  • Review normal aging changes – provide examples and role plays to demonstrate
  • Discuss and demonstrate behaviors, actions, words, and responses that are not ‘normal’ but may signal areas of possible concern if they are noted
  • Provide information on the 10 warning signs of dementia
  • Compare and contrast different dementias – symptoms, behaviors, progressions, and current treatment recommendations
  • Discuss other possible causes of cognitive changes which are ‘NOT’ dementia
  • Review the ANA recommendations regarding assessment for dementia
  • Discuss possible issues that typically arise early in dementia
  • Respond to questions