Understanding Dementia for Driving Professionals

Recorded On: 11/28/2018

This 2 contact hour course will review the many changes in behavior, communication, and interactive ability that take place when someone is living with dementia and this can have serious consequences on driving. This course will help driver rehabilitation specialists understand what is happening to the brain in patients with dementia, the clinical manifestations of the disease and how they may manifest during driving. Teepa will review how behaviors are connected to an individual’s change in sensation, sensory processing, and motor skill abilities due to the onset, then worsening, of various dementias. Participants will learn strategies for application of dementia knowledge to driver assessments, training and possible driving cessation.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify early signs and symptoms of dementia
  • Compare different types of dementia 
  • Understand what is physiologically occurring in patients with dementia and identify the clinical manifestations
  • Recognize the effects of dementia on driving
  • Discuss communication skills for working with dementia patients and their families
  • Develop skills necessary for assessing drivers with dementia
  • Develop an approach to working with patients who require driving cessation

Teepa Snow


             Teepa Snow is an advocate for those living with dementia and has made it her personal mission to help families and professionals better understand how it feels to be living with such challenges and seeks to change and improve life for everyone involved. Her practice has included everything from neuro-intensive care units in tertiary hospitals to in-home end-of-life care in rural parts of North Carolina. She has taught at medical schools and post-doctoral programs, health professional programs, colleges and universities, community colleges, and community centers. She led educational and training efforts as the Educational Director of the Eastern NC Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association for many years and was a major contributor and author of the in-depth hands on training delivered to family members and staff that led to the production of the DVD Accepting the Challenge: Providing the Best Care for People with Dementia, an internationally recognized resource for training and understanding dementia.

               As one of America's leading educators on dementia, Teepa has developed a dementia care philosophy reflective of her education, work experience, medical research, and first hand caregiving experiences. She is a graduate of Duke University, and received her MS degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. As an Occupational Therapist with over 30 years of experience in geriatrics, she has worked as the OT Director in a head injury facility, a clinical specialist in geriatrics for a Veteran's Administration Medical Center, and a Restorative Care Coordinator for a long term care facility. Her hands on caregiving experiences include providing direct care in home health, assisted living, long term care, and rehabilitation settings. Teepa also served as the Director of Education and Lead Trainer for the Eastern N.C. Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, and as a clinical associate professor at UNC's School of Medicine, Program on Aging.

               She has served as an interdisciplinary team member and helped develop and conduct clinical research with leading researchers in dementia and geriatric care. Through opportunities she has had, she has learned from people living with various forms of dementia including: head injuries, stroke, autism, down syndrome, and many other neurological and chronic health conditions. Teepa has become committed to building a program of support and care that provides a just right match between what the person needs and is able to do, and the environment and care partnering that can provide it.

               This wealth of experience and knowledge led to her development of a Positive Approach to Care for those living with dementia or other brain changes. Teepa's teaching style integrates facts about the brain and what happens to someone when doing, thinking, reasoning or processing becomes different or difficult.

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