Caregiver Care Guide - Seizures

A caregiver's guide to helping a loved one under hospice care with the symptoms of seizures.

What are some Symptoms of a Seizure?

  • Uncontrolled jerking of parts of the body or of the whole body

  • Staring “off into space” with inability to respond

  • Stiffening or rigidity of the body

  • Loss of consciousness which can lead to loss of bladder and bowel control


What should I do if someone is having a Seizure?

  • Stay with the person and try to stay calm.

  • If able, try to time the seizure; most seizures resolve in < 2 minutes

  • Make sure that the environment is safe - move objects which could cause the person harm

  • Do not try to restrain the person if he/she is jerking uncontrollably

  • Do not try to put anything inside the mouth as this can cause injury

  • Turn the person on his/her side after the seizure if unresponsive (many people will be sleepy or unresponsive after a seizure)

  • Wait to give anything that the person would need to swallow until he/she is fully awake


What can increase the risk of having a Seizure?

  • Physical stress on the body such as not sleeping, fever, diarrhea or vomiting

  • Emotional stress

  • Missing doses of medications used to treat or prevent a seizure

  • Use of some medications, herbal supplements or alcohol and illegal drugs

  • Tell your hospice team all medications/supplements being taken


How are Seizures Treated?

  • Medications taken on a regular basis can reduce the risk of having seizures

  • Medications can also be given rectally or in the nose to help stop a seizure once it starts.


Contact your hospice team as soon as possible when a Seizure occurs.


To view or download a hardcopy of the "Caregiver Care Guide: Seizures," click the download button below.

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