According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors are at a greater risk for developing epilepsy. In fact, around 1 million people aged 55 and older in the United States have epilepsy. The reason epilepsy occurs more often in older adults is because they are more likely to have risk factors for the condition, such as strokes, brain tumors, and Alzheimer’s disease. Because of the high risk to seniors, it’s important that their family caregivers know how to spot a seizure and what to do if one occurs.
Kinds of Seizures
Certain kinds of seizures pose more danger than others. The two basic kinds of seizures are:
Focal Onset Seizures: This kind of seizure starts in just one part of the brain. It may cause just one part of the body to move or twitch, like an arm or the face. The older adult is awake when the seizure begins, but they cannot control the movement. As the seizure goes on, they might stare off into space. After the seizure, they won’t remember having had it.
Generalized Seizures: A generalized seizure affects more than one area of the brain. The person having the seizure isn’t likely to be aware of it. Grand mal seizures, the most well-known type of seizure, is a generalized seizure. A grand mal seizure is the kind you usually see on television where the person’s whole body convulses. These are frightening to witness and can require emergency medical attention.
Generalized seizures are the more dangerous of the two kinds of seizures. During this kind of seizure, the person is unaware of their surroundings, so they can injure themselves by striking objects around them.
Seizure First Aid
Most of the time, a person having a seizure won’t need any medical attention. What they really need is for someone to keep them safe during the event. Here’s what to do during a seizure:
* Stay calm and speak to the person in a gentle, comforting tone.
* Don’t leave the person until they are fully awake again.
* Place something under their head to cushion it from hitting against the floor.
* Move objects that could injure them out of the way.
* Put the person on their side so that breathing is easier.
* Time the length of the seizure.
* Never place anything in the person’s mouth.
If the person has never had a seizure before, you should call 9-1-1. Also call for emergency assistance if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or if the person has trouble breathing.
Elder care can help protect seniors with seizure disorders. An elder care provider can prevent injuries during a senior. They can also monitor the length of the seizure. If your aging relative needs emergency medical care, an elder care provider can call 9-1-1. Elder care providers can also serve as a source of comfort and relieve the stress of the older adult and their family members since they know that someone will be there if a seizure should occur.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.