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11th Feb

2015

Seizures and Older Adults

Seizures come in several different types and can cause serious long-term problems if the situation and the overall condition is not managed properly. Seizures occur due to electrical discharge activity within the brain’s nerve cells, with varying seriousness and effects. Not all seizures are the same, there are many different types and they can display different symptoms.

 

Types of Seizures

 

Generalized Seizures

 

These types of seizures are caused due to significant electrical discharges in the majority, if not all, of the brain. Generalized seizures are classified by six distinctive and different types.

 

  • Grand Mal-Convulsive activity and rigid muscles
  • Absence-Temporarily unconscious and unresponsive
  • Myoclonic Sporadic-A small amount of jerky and sporadic actions
  • Clonic-Repeated jerky actions
  • Tonic-Rigid and stiff muscles
  • Atonic-Loss of normal muscle tension

Partial Seizures

 

These are seizures caused by electrical discharge activity in a limited portion of the brain and there are two types, simple and complex. When experiencing a partial seizure an individual will remain aware and conscious, while a complex seizure will most often render an individual temporarily unconscious.

 

Epilepsy, Seizures & Seniors

 

Epilepsy and seizures among seniors is a growing problem and it can often lead to serious long-term health problems and complicate existing health issues. In some cases, they can be caused by tumors, heart problems, stroke and many other existing medical problems.

 

Treating and managing epilepsy at advanced ages can be complicated. It requires carefully balancing treatments and medication of other medical issues, with the treatment of whatever condition is causing the seizures.

 

If you or a loved one is experiencing seizures, it is very important the core issue is properly diagnosed and a higher level of supervision and care is obtained. Seizure episodes can dramatically increase the chance of accidents, which can result in broken bones, head injuries and other serious injuries.

 

 

If seizures and epilepsy are not managed properly, it will ultimately lead to a senior losing their independence and incurring additional health problems at a rapid pace. Remember, part of providing good care for seniors is attempting to keep them as independent as possible for as long as possible.

 

While seizures by themselves may sometimes not be a serious problem, they have a compounding effect when combined with other health issues. They should be immediately diagnosed, the staff of the care facility should be notified and a treatment plan from a doctor should be put into practice

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