- International Epilepsy Day aims at raising awareness around epilepsy
- Caregivers need to gently remind patients about their medications daily
- Do not treat a patient with epilepsy with sympathy
World Epilepsy Day: The second Monday of February is observed as International Epilepsy Day, a special event which focuses on promoting awareness on epilepsy. World Epilepsy Day 2021 is thus, on February 8. Epilepsy is a neurological condition which can cause seizures. The severity of these seizures can differ from person to person. Having an epileptic attack can be scary and confusing for both the patient and the caregiver. Hence, it is important spred as much awareness and understanding about the condition, so that the caregivers can handle an unexpected seizure attack anytime, anywhere.
As a caregiver, it is needed to empathize and encourage a person with epilepsy as well as let them know that their life can be as rewarding as anyone else's.
World Epilepsy Day 2021: Tips that caregivers need to follow
1. Gentle reminders: An epileptic patient requires to be gently reminded to take medication on time, eat well, worry less, sleep well and exercise as per their health provider's suggestions.
2. Treat them no differently: Never treat an epileptic patient with inequality or excess sympathy. Epilepsy is just another comorbidity that can be managed with lifestyle changes and medical support.
3. Form/join a support group for caregivers of Epilepsy: Creating/joining a support group can help one meet like-minded individuals with similar experiences and also will aid in understanding the condition thoroughly. Always stay abreast of this condition and keep in touch with the patient's doctor.
4. Practice mindfulness with the patient: Practicing mindfulness everyday can drastically reduce anxiety for both the patient and yourself (the caregiver) and result in developing a healthy mind.
5. Don't be controlling: Being too vigilant of the patient can be too exhausting and often harbor infuriating feelings in the patient. Although it is out of concern for fearing an an epileptic attack, this might cause excessive anxiety on the epileptic individual.
6. Practice daily journaling: Journaling the patient's activity, medicine intake, nutrition and overall progress on a daily basis will help you be prepared for any emergency
7. Be his/her pillar of support: It is crucial to always encourage the patient to take up hobbies such as learning a new musical instrument, dancing, gardening, painting, etc.
8. Care for yourself: Caregiving involves investing plenty of time, resources, energy and can lead to burnout and exhaustion, impatience and anxiety. Apart from taking care of the needs of those with Epilepsy, caregivers must practice self-care for their own overall well-being and happiness.
(Sneha George is a Psychologist Fortis Malar Hospital)
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