Adults who develop epilepsy later in life may have a hard time managing the disorder.
There May Be a Medical Cause
Eight in 10 adults aged 65 or older have more than one chronic health condition. Many epilepsy medicines also have side effects such as bone loss or dizziness, which can make someone more likely to fall and become injured. After a lifetime of being independent, losing the ability to drive or take care of themselves can be especially hard for older adults.
Read more about this in an Epilepsy Foundation article about living independently external icon. Seizure first aid is easy to give and involves keeping the person safe until the seizure stops on its own and knowing when to call for emergency help. If you work at an adult day care center, senior center, long-term care facility, nursing home, in home health care, or another senior-serving organization, there is special training available.
You can get free continuing education credits for participating.
Seizures do not usually require emergency medical attention. Only call if one or more of these are true:. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. Section Navigation. Facebook Twitter Email Syndicate. Epilepsy and Seizures in Older Adults. Minus Related Pages.
Epilepsy Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
Epilepsy can affect people at any age, but it's more likely to develop in older adults. Caregivers should learn how to recognize seizures in older adults. How Can You Help? More Information. Zack MM, Kobau R. National and state estimates of the numbers of adults and children with active epilepsy — United States, DOI: Close to one million U. Epilepsy Behav. Epilepsy in later life. Lancet Neurology. Waterhouse E, Towne A. Seizures in the elderly: Nuances in presentation and treatment.
Cleve Clin J Med.
Management of Seizures and Epilepsy
New-onset epilepsy risk factors in older veterans. Treating the underlying condition may help lower your risk of experiencing seizures.
Depending on your diagnosis, your treatment plan may include lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, or other interventions. Genetics can also affect your risk of developing epilepsy and experiencing seizures. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors. For example, you might experience:. If you have a history of seizures or have been diagnosed with epilepsy and you notice these symptoms, be sure to alert someone. They can monitor you for a seizure and get help if needed.
Finding the cause of your seizures can take some time.
Epilepsy and Seizures in Older Adults
Your doctor can use medical tests to check for some underlying health conditions. But those tests may not be enough to identify your triggers. With the help of a friend or loved one, keep a written record of your seizures and share it with your doctor. This can help them diagnose your condition and develop a treatment plan.
Know someone with epilepsy? Find out what steps you need to take if your friend, a loved one, or a co-worker experiences a seizure in your presence. Many people with epilepsy can manage their seizures with proper medications and treatment. Get facts about the long-term outlook for epilepsy.
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