D5 – From "Where Did I Put My Keys?" to "What Keys?" Signs that Your Clients May Be Losing Capacity

Cognitive changes occur with normal aging. But where’s the line between normal changes and
pathology that significantly (and legally) affects a client’s decision-making? And how can you tell the
difference between cognitive deterioration due to dementia and other progressive disorders, and
cognitive changes that arise from conditions that don’t have their roots in neurodegeneration (and are
treatable)? Professionals are empowered when they have more ways to think about the behaviors they
observe in their clients, an awareness of their potential implications, and an understanding of their
professional obligations – and options – when concerns about capacity arise.


Dana Chidekel, Ph.D

Dana Chidekel, Ph.D


Dr. Dana Chidekel, a clinical neuropsychologist, is certified by both the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology and the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology. She maintains a private lifespan practice in Calabasas, in which she provides comprehensive assessments to children and adults referred for cognitive, developmental, academic, psychiatric, and behavioral problems. She is licensed to practice in California, Oklahoma and Connecticut and authorized to practice up to one month per year in 31 additional states. Dr. Chidekel dedicates a portion of her practice to forensic work. She is retained as a consultant and expert by plaintiff and defense in approximate equal proportions, in state and federal matters associated with personal injury, elder law, probate, employment law, educational law, business law, and (limited) family, criminal and immigration law. Cases involve testamentary and contractual capacity, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, traumatic brain injury, medical malpractice, psychological trauma, harassment, discrimination, and special education. She loves the good fight, which any fight on behalf of the truth. Dr. Chidekel has authored and coauthored professional articles about developmental neuropsychology and parameters of professional practice, that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including Cerebellum, Pediatric Neurology, and Applied Neuropsychology: Child. She is co-author of ADHD as a Model of Brain-Behavior Relationships (Springer 2013) and author of Parents in Charge: Setting Healthy, Loving Boundaries for You and Your Child (Simon and Schuster, 2001). She is a frequent presenter to lay and professional audiences as a speaker, panelist, and keynote. Dr. Chidekel has appeared on local and national radio and TV programs, including multiple appearances on The Today Show.