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7th Apr

2015

Epilepsy Can Sometimes Look Like Dementia

Individuals over 65 years of age and suffering from epilepsy, is now one of the fastest growing health concerns in the US. Unfortunately, epilepsy is sometimes difficult to diagnose in seniors, as they may not experience symptoms or have convulsions the way many people do. Even trained professionals at a Hawaii senior assisted living facility may have difficulty identifying the issue right away.

 

Difficult to Identify and Often Mistaken for Other Ailments

 

In fact, it is common for seniors to have symptoms that are much more difficult to identify such as confusion, hearing or visual issues, memory loss and suspended awareness problems. This can sometimes be mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease or perhaps even dementia. If you are caring for a senior, or even if they are in a Hawaii senior assisted living setting, and you notice these symptoms, then you need to bring it to the attention of a medical professional.

 

Seniors have a tendency to develop what is called focal epilepsy. This only has an effect on a small part of the brain and when a seizure occurs, they may just stop what they are doing or saying and stare or become very anxious suddenly.

 

Other Health Issues that Cause Epilepsy

 

  • Stroke
  • Tumors
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Trauma
  • Alzheimer’s

Dealing with epilepsy in seniors can be quite a challenging task, given the difficulty in actually identifying the problem to begin with. However, if properly diagnosed, managed and treated a senior can still live a productive life with some level of independence. The risk of accidents does increase as well, such as losing their balance, falls, breaking bones and the like. Once the epileptic condition is diagnosed, part of the challenge is finding a good balance between allowing the senior to have their independence and keeping a watchful eye on them.

 

If you feel you may be facing a situation similar to what we have described, it is best to contact the doctor caring for the senior and the Hawaii senior assisted living facility to voice your concerns. This will not be the first time they have dealt with a situation such as this and will be able to provide valuable guidance. Additionally, if you feel the situation is urgent, do not hesitate to request a meeting with everyone involved to ensure there is an understanding of what needs to be done going forward.

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