More than half of all new-onset epilepsies affect older people, but are often not recognised or are mistaken for other issues. We work to inform as many carers, relatives and people who might develop epilepsy as possible about the disorder.
Epilepsy in older people is often difficult to recognise. The symptoms include dizziness, forgetfulness, confusion and falls, and seizures do not always involve convulsions. Epilepsy is the third most common nervous system disorder in old age – and because we are living longer and longer it occurs more and more frequently.
Once diagnosed, epilepsy in older persons usually responds well to treatment. Medication can prevent dangerous falls and difficult convalescence periods after seizures.
The observations of carers and relatives are important in achieving the correct diagnosis, which is why the Epilepsy League is working to raise people’s awareness.