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5 Treatment Options for Older Adults with Epilepsy

By Home Care Assistance, 9:00 am on November 14, 2016

Epilepsy can be a dangerous condition for anyone to live with. However, people over 65 are at higher risk of injuring themselves in the event of a seizure. As a result, it’s important for seniors and their families to know what options are available for treating this condition. Phoenix live-in home care experts discuss 5 ways to treat epilepsy in older adults.

1. Drug Therapy

Many different types of medication can be used to reduce the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures. Before prescribing medication, a doctor will need to determine what type of epilepsy your loved one has. Certain forms of epilepsy can be treated with anticonvulsants, while others require stronger sedatives.

2. Dietary Changes

A complete overhaul of your loved one’s diet could substantially reduce his or her risk of seizures. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, the ketogenic diet can reduce the frequency of seizures by as much as 50 percent in the average person. The primary goal of this diet is to keep your loved one in a fasting state with foods that are high in fat and protein.

3. Resective Surgery

The vast majority of seniors can manage their epilepsy with lifestyle changes and medication. Those who have partial epilepsy originating from a small area of their brain might be able to go off their medication after having resective surgery carried out. During this procedure, the surgical team removes the small portion of damaged brain matter that is causing the seizures.

4. Disconnection Surgery

When surgeons are not able to remove the damaged tissue, they might try to disconnect the nearby nerves to prevent the seizure focus from spreading. This type of procedure is much more invasive than resective surgery and is often viewed as a last resort for people who have debilitating seizures. Disconnection surgery can only be carried out when the seizures are not originating from an area of the brain that controls vital functions.

5. Nerve Stimulation

Due to a number of recent advances in healthcare technology, nerve stimulation therapy has become a popular treatment option for epilepsy. Instead of performing surgery on the brain, the medical team implants a small device in the person’s chest near the vagus nerve bundle. The device will then send out timed electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves leading into the brain.

If your loved one needs help managing epilepsy or another serious condition, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available around the clock to provide medication reminders, assist with mobility, and ensure your loved one is able to age in place safely and comfortably. To learn more about the elder home care Phoenix, AZ, families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers today at 602.388.1085.