Many people think epilepsy is a condition of childhood. However, seniors are at greater risk than young people for developing epilepsy. With the rapid aging of the population, the number of new cases of epilepsy is expected to rise. Strokes are the main cause of epilepsy in older people. Additional causes might be other conditions also related to aging, including Alzheimer ’s disease and other dementias, brain tumours, head injuries (from falls) and heart attacks. Diagnosis may be delayed because seizures in the elderly are often not the convulsive type. They don’t look like the seizures most people think of when they think of epilepsy. Therefore they assume that their symptoms are caused from normal aging.
Seniors with epilepsy face greater risks than younger people. They are more likely to become injured due to falls from seizures. Additionally, it takes longer to recover from a seizure, during which time they continue to be at risk for accidents. Older people are more prone to severe side effects from their anti-epileptic medications. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with epilepsy please call our helpful staff to discuss your needs or start your research with these handy links.