Epilepsy and the Senior Community
One in 26 could be anyone. Epilepsy strikes regardless of age.

 

When people in their sixties, seventies or eighties experience unusual feelings — lost time, suspended awareness, confusion, seizures — they may think that simply “getting older” is to blame. However, there may be another explanation — they may have become one of the 300,000 senior citizens in the United States with epilepsy.

Causes

Epilepsy and the Senior Community

Some causes for epilepsy and seizures among older individuals include after-effects of stroke, tumor or cardiovascular events. 

Unfortunately, having epilepsy later in life poses additional problems in treatment because of age-related issues and use of other medications. It also increases the risk of falls, broken bones and a loss of independence.

Today, we know that epilepsy is not contagious, not a mental illness, not a symptom of intellectual decline, and certainly not a reason for shame or family embarrassment.

Risks

Epilepsy and the Senior Community

Seizures are usually not life-threatening, although in senior citizens the extra strain on the heart, the possibility of injury and the reduced intake of oxygen may increase the risk. For many, their seizures can often be treated quite successfully. Even if seizures continue to happen occasionally, they don’t need to prevent an otherwise healthy, active senior citizen from living an independent and satisfying life.

Webinar Series for Health Care Professionals

Providing accessible epilepsy training to a wide range of post-acute and long-term care professionals will increase the likelihood that seniors with epilepsy receive timely and appropriate care tailored to their specific health needs. Care that includes early identification of seizures, the appropriate management of seizures, and awareness of impact and risks which are present for older adults diagnosed with epilepsy.

The Epilepsy Foundation has created the following three online learning modules to train professionals caring for older adults with epilepsy.

  • Click to learn about the speakers, learning objectives, and course director and moderator.

Seizure Identification and Epilepsy Basics

Recorded Wednesday, October 30, 2019

 

Epilepsy: Treatment Considerations in Older Adults

Recorded Wednesday, November 6, 2019

 

Epilepsy: Impact and Risks in Older Adults

Recorded Wednesday, November 13, 2019

 

Webinar series brought to you with support from Sunovion.

Course materials have been approved by the Epilepsy Foundation Professional Advisory Board.

Reviewed By: 
Joseph I. Sirven MD
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN
Epilepsy Foundation Communications
on: 
Tuesday, January 21, 2020