Most people think of seizure disorders as a medical problem that mostly strikes children. However, the demographic with the largest percentage of growth in having epilepsy are the elderly. It is the third leading neurological impairment in the elderly after Alzheimer’s and stroke. Among the reasons for this growth are that the baby boomer generation is the largest demographic in our population, many neurological impairments (stroke, Alzheimer’s, brain tumors) are more prevalent in this age group and older persons are at more risk of brain trauma due to falls.

One of the most overlooked populations for seizures are the medically fragile elderly served by the Senior Adult Day Health Centers. These centers have more medical staff on-site than a traditional senior center. In 2012, a grant received from the Health Resources and Services Administration helped EFGA to focus on these key personnel with resources on seizure recognition/first aid, along with managing the multiple medications their participants are often taking. With HRSA’s funding EFGA was able to offer 9 workshops around the state, and reaching 220 Senior Day Health Care Center workers with this vital information.

Seizures in Later Life is an educational pamphlet which offers guidelines and preventative tips to senior groups such as AARP, participants at senior centers, staff at assisted living centers and for families who might have an at-risk parent for seizure problems. The importance of medication compliance is stressed, along with ways a senior adult can live in a safer environment as far as fall prevention. If you would like to receive this pamphlet, please contact us at epilepsy@epilepsyga.org.