5 Ways Seniors Can Manage Epilepsy

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According to Epilepsy Canada, 42 people are diagnosed with epilepsy every day. While this health condition can be dangerous if left untreated, many seniors are able to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures with comprehensive lifestyle changes.

Making lifestyle changes can be challenging for some seniors, and this is where professional caregivers can help. Mississauga senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Here is a closer look at a few steps seniors can take to minimize the risk of an epileptic fit.

1. Keep a Seizure Log

Seniors and their caregivers should keep records of any seizures that take place. After a fit has occurred, write down the exact time of the seizure, how long it lasted, and what your loved one was doing beforehand. You should also spend a few moments logging what your loved one did in the hours leading up to the seizure. These logs will be invaluable to the doctor when determining what triggers the seizures. 

2. Educate Family Members

Even though epilepsy is a relatively common health condition, there are several misconceptions about it, which is why family members should know what must be done during a seizure. In most cases, they need to make sure their loved one is in a safe and comfortable position until the seizure is over. Once the seizure concludes, family caregivers should then spend a few hours with their loved one as he or she recovers. 

If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Mississauga, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.

3. Make a List of Medications

Seniors who take any prescription medication should keep a list of those pills with them at all times. At the top of the list, anticonvulsant medications should be highlighted to help strangers identify what is taking place during a fit. In addition to the name of the medication, the list should also have a short description of what the pills look like and how often they should be taken. 

4. Buy an Electronic Pill Case

Unlike many other vitamins and supplements, it can be dangerous to miss even a single dose of anti-seizure medication. In addition to setting reminders on your loved one’s phone, you may also want to invest in an electronic pill case. These small devices can be programmed to chime whenever the next set of pills must be taken. The alarm will then get louder until the case is opened and the medication is taken. 

5. Create a Strict Daily Routine

Every senior has different triggers, which is why they need to have rigid daily routines that limit exposure to those triggers. One study funded by the Epilepsy Foundation found that seniors were able to reduce the frequency and severity of their seizures by maintaining a strict sleep schedule and exercising for 30 minutes every day. Seniors who have epilepsy should also speak with a registered nutritionist to see if they have any deficiencies that need to be addressed.

In some cases, epilepsy indicates the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. According to studies, Alzheimer’s disease can carry a significantly increased risk of seizures. The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Mississauga, ON, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. If your aging loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you can create a tailored care plan for him or her by calling one of our friendly Care Managers at (905) 337-1200.