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Seniors and Seizures

Seniors and Seizures

Seniors & Seizures Training Program

About 300,000 older adults in the U.S. have epilepsy. Epilepsy is more common among older adults than it is in any other age group, including infants. Many times, older people or their caregivers think they’re experiencing a symptom of another medical condition, or that they’re having side effects from medication, when what’s really happening is a seizure. Without training, seniors and those who care for them might not recognize a seizure, attributing it instead to a ‘senior’ moment.

In the recently released Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding, the IOM Committee provided recommendations on priorities in public health, health care, and human services, and health literacy and public awareness for the epilepsies. Per the report:

The incidence of epilepsy is highest in children and older adults. Due to the aging of the population and increase in life expectancy, the number of older adults who develop or have epilepsy will increase. Some of the increase will be from known causes such as stroke, dementia, and TBI, which is often due to falls. Older adults with epilepsy may experience greater disability because of deterioration in health due to advanced age, co-morbid conditions, and the greater likelihood of side effects from seizure medications.”

The Epilepsy Foundation has designed a training program for senior-serving organizations that address these issues with the following objectives:

  • Introduction to epilepsy, its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
  • Intake and assessment of Seniors with Epilepsy
  • Clinical and psycho-social issues in Adult Day Programs
  • Sample checklist, Observation log and an Intake questionnaire
  • Resources on Epilepsy in Senior

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