|Q.||What first prompted you to get involved with the EFWCP?|
|A.||Education, information and more information. I didn’t start to have seizures until I was well into my sixties. I just couldn’t imagine that what was happening was epilepsy. But once I got in touch with the Epilepsy Foundation they talked with me first over the phone, then they sent me information in the mail. I started to attend some of the group meetings that they host to hear about newer medications available and learned as much as I could about how to cope with the seizures. I just wasn’t willing to give up my independence but I had to learn as much as possible about epilepsy before I learned to handle it appropriately.|
|Q.||If your seizures are controlled, why do you continue to work with the EFWCP?|
|A.||There is probably less known about epilepsy and seizure disorders in the older population than in any other segment of the population. And, frankly healthcare professionals and caregivers don’t know as much as I think they should about how to best help and support a senior citizen who has been diagnosed with epilepsy or a seizure disorder. I signed on to work with the EFWCP to represent Pennsylvania seniors in a national project called the Initiative on Aging. The goal of the initiative is to recommend strategies for dealing with the epilepsy or seizures in the older population and to provide those recommendations to the professionals, non-professionals and anyone else working with senior citizens who might be experiencing epilepsy or a seizure disorder.|
The American population is aging and living longer. While our aging population has never been more active or independent, it is also facing some new and older health conditions that not so long ago weren’t considered much of a problem for older people. Among those conditions thought at one time not to be very common in senior citizens is epilepsy.
For a variety of reasons, epilepsy can be difficult to diagnose in older patients. It’s easily confused and mistaken for other neurological impairments. Sometimes seizures are just written off as other problems associated with aging. The reality is that just as many new cases of epilepsy or seizure disorder are being diagnosed in the older population as there are cases in young children.
If you or someone you love is experiencing seizures or exhibiting signs or symptoms that could be seizures, contact the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania for information and support. And, check out some of these helpful links.