Providing Support

It is important to be properly informed and prepared in order to provide the best support to a person living with epilepsy and a cognitive disability. While each person will have unique needs, in general you should remember:

  • The person will have needs related to both their epilepsy and cognitive disability, all of which need to be considered when providing support
  • As diagnosing epilepsy in a person living with a cognitive disability can sometimes be challenging and complex, their support network should look out for behaviours and activity that are repetitive and unusual
  • It is important that family and support workers keep a record of changes in symptoms that are new or uncommon to the person, which may indicate seizure activity. Records or diaries about symptoms or changes will be useful to a doctor investigating the possibility of epilepsy
  • To ensure the person’s Epilepsy Management Plan (EMP) is current and endorsed by their doctor
  • If the person has an Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP), ensure it is reviewed by their doctor every year and that their support network has been trained appropriately
  • Implement risk management strategies to enhance the safety of the person
  • Support the person to engage in social and leisure activities, as participation in these can greatly enhance physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • Support the person to have adequate sleep, maintain a healthy diet, reduce stress, limit alcohol consumption, and undertake appropriate exercise/activities.

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