Tips for living with Epilepsy

1. Older adults may be taking medications for other health problems. When a new medication is prescribed to control seizures, talk to your doctor and pharmacist about how it will react with your existing medications. Ask too, about the effects of over-the-counter medications (antacids and aspirin, etc.) with your existing medications and anti-epileptic medications.

2. Medications for seizure disorders and epilepsy do not usually mix well with alcohol. Practice cautions and ask your healthcare professional for advice.

3. Take your medication at the times prescribed. Never stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor first.

4. Advise your family and friends about the kind of seizures you have experienced and learn together what first aid should be done if you have a seizure.

5. Keep a journal describing your seizures; ask your family and friends to describe your condition if you cannot remember.

6. Older adults can have a higher risk of falling; seizure disorders can increase the risk of falls. Some ideas for safety in the home include: keeping floors free of obstacles, fastening loose rugs to the floor, moving furniture with sharp corners outf the way, installing railings beside staircases, using a rubber bath mat in the tub and sitting down while having showers, learning how to use a microwave for cooking.

7. Families and friends can be overprotective and place limits that can cause the person with epilepsy to lose their independence or self esteem. Support for families and caregivers is available and can prove useful in allowing the older adult living with epilepsy to live a full life with minor adjustments to lifestyle.

8. Contact your local Epilepsy Association for more information.