Isolation and epilepsy – how to stay safe whilst social distancing

2nd April 2020

Much of the country is currently taking social distancing measures with many more completely isolating in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19. Whilst isolation has implications for everyone in the general population, there are a few extra considerations that people with epilepsy must take into account. 

Here’s some advice on how to isolate as safely as possible:

Ensure you check in with someone regularly

When isolating, there’s a danger that there is nobody there to help in case of an emergency. This is especially important if you live alone. Ensure that at the absolute minimum you have an agreement with someone, perhaps a friend or family member, that you will check in via phone at regular intervals. This way, should you fail to make contact they will know to raise the alarm and ensure that you get aid as quickly as possible. 

Consider an alert device or monitor

There are a number of epilepsy alert devices and monitors on the market that may help to ensure you’re safe in the event of a seizure during isolation. These devices work in a number of ways, but one example is to send an alert to a nearby friend, family member or carer should seizure activity be detected.

Find out more about alert devices and monitors in one of our earlier posts here.

Take care of your mental health 

Isolation can have a negative impact on many people. Humans as a species are social creatures and isolating with no interaction with the outside world can be very detrimental to a person’s mental health. Studies have shown that those with epilepsy can be more susceptible to mental health issues. In fact, 30-35% of people with epilepsy will experience depression at some point. New technologies, such as video calls, can go a long way to reducing social isolation.

If you feel your mental health is suffering as a result of isolation, or for any other reason, it’s crucial that you reach out and discuss with someone, whether it’s a close friend, a family member or a medical professional. 

Continue with your medication 

The change in routine can mean that it’s easy to get out of a rhythm and forget to take your medication at the right times. The days and hours can start to melt into one without a break in monotony. It’s crucial that unless told otherwise, you continue to take your prescribed medication at the same times as you always do. If you find you’re struggling with this then set an alarm or start using a diary to track your medication intake. 

Find some more helpful tips on taking your medication here in an earlier blog post.

National Epilepsy Training can help…

For more information on how to stay safe whilst isolating, please call us on 01706 373075 or email admin@nationalepilepsytraining.co.uk