Epilepsy in the Elderly
A common course of treatment uses antiepileptic drugs which act as sedatives to the cognitive portion of the brain, where the seizures occur.
Those who have surpassed the age of 60 are exposed to epilepsy because they are more likely to be diagnosed with concurrent medical conditions which require multiple medications. These individuals require surveillance throughout the day and night, and the monitoring of their medication is also necessary, which is why most of them have a nurse looking after them.
In order to diagnose epilepsy in an elderly individual, a witness should provide a detailed description of the seizure attack to a doctor. This will help the consultant to conclude whether the attack was due to epilepsy. If an elderly person has more than 1 seizure attack in a certain time period, it may indicate epilepsy.
Once it is diagnosed, some tests are conducted to help the doctor determine the factors behind such a reaction. This includes going through family history as epilepsy can be genetic. If the affected individual does not have the problem since childhood, and no one in the family faces similar concerns, the reason behind the seizures could be another disease or medical condition.
Many detailed evaluations are conducted to help the doctor establish the reason behind such an attack at this stage of life. This includes tests that determine a complete blood count, serologic tests, phosphorus, blood urea nitrogen, glucose levels, tests for erythrocyte sedimentation rate, electrolytes, liver function tests, chest radiograph and an electrocardiogram as well.
An individual diagnosed with this medical condition should be monitored regularly, keeping in mind that they require special medical attention. This also includes the following methods of care and prevention.
- No food or drink until and unless patient is awake and in a proper state of mind.
- Avoid physical injuries
- Avoid mental stress
- Help the patient breathe when facing problems
- Turn the patient towards their side when the attack ends, as well as keep them in the maintained position after attack ends, this helps smooth the side effects of the seizures.
- Keep their mouth open while they are having a seizure attack, this will help them breathe and not let them suffocate.
- Act as soon as the attack has been triggered, and call for assistance as soon as possible.
The nurses at Partners in Healthcare are available to speak with you about your in-home senior care needs including how to stay healthy at home with RN managed affordable care. We are a private duty home care agency that provides pediatric to elder home care services in the Orlando area; call us at 407-788-9393.