5 Reasons Aging Adults Develop Epilepsy

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Causes of Epilepsy in Older Adults in Des Moines, IA

Approximately 300,000 American seniors live with epilepsy, and their conditions may have developed due to a wide variety of causes. Here are a few of the common factors leading to epilepsy in older adults. 

1. Strokes

A 2013 study funded by the Epilepsy Foundation revealed strokes are the number one cause of epilepsy in adults over age 65. This startling statistic is just one more reason your senior loved one should be doing everything in his or her power to lower the risk of having a stroke. Some of the most effective ways to prevent strokes include staying at a healthy weight, exercising, drinking in moderation, quitting tobacco products, and keeping blood pressure at a healthy level.  Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Des Moines, IA, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

2. Head Injuries

Head injuries are very common among the senior population due to many older adults having limited mobility and balance. Even minor head injuries can increase the likelihood of developing epilepsy. Consider installing safety features throughout your loved one’s home, including grab bars, ramps, and walk-in showers. 

3. Tumors

Many people associate brain tumors with cancer, but this medical term describes any mass of abnormal cells in the brain. We still know very little about brain tumors, but most specialists agree they’re the result of both environmental factors and genetics. Regularly getting tested for cancerous cells is the most effective way to prevent long-term tumor-related damage. 

4. Infectious Diseases

Any infectious disease that affects the brain or nervous system can increase the risk of having a seizure. HIV, AIDS, meningitis, and viral encephalitis can all result in epilepsy. As a general rule, any seniors who exhibit unusual medical issues such as ongoing fevers, chronic migraines, or impaired vision should immediately speak with their doctors about being screened for infectious diseases.  Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

5. Genetics

If a doctor cannot discover the exact cause of a senior’s epilepsy after running tests, the condition will typically be attributed to genetics. A senior can go his or her entire life without experiencing a single seizure only to develop epilepsy when he or she grows older. Though there’s no test to check if your loved one is prone to seizures, he or she should still be wary of any issues involving cognitive abilities and mental health.  If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Des Moines elder care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (515) 264-2438 today.


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