There are around 3 million adults in the United States who have epilepsy, a condition that causes seizures.
Although it can happen to people of any age, epilepsy is more common in people who are 55 or older. One of the things that makes epilepsy a dangerous condition for older adults is that a seizure can result in injuries from falling. Imagine, though, if your elderly parent with epilepsy had a warning that a seizure was coming. That would give them the opportunity to get to a safe place before the seizure occurred. According to researchers at the University of Rennes in France, dogs may be able to provide that early warning.
Dogs May Be Able to Smell Seizures
For years, dog owners have reported that their dogs seem to be able to sense when a seizure is about to occur. However, there was no scientific evidence to show how they were doing it. The scientists at the University of Rennes conducted a small study to see if the dogs were using their noses to detect seizures.
To find out, they collected samples of sweat and breath from people who have seizures. Each of the five participants had a different kind of epilepsy. The samples were collected from each person when they were resting, when they were having a seizure, and when they were exercising. Then, they presented the samples to dogs.
Five dogs of different breeds who had been trained to alert to other kinds of health problems. The dogs sniffed seven samples from each person. Only one of the samples was from when they were having a seizure. All five of the dogs identified the seizure sample correctly within just eight seconds.
Senior Care Can Also Help Seniors Avoid Injury During Seizures
The study was a small one and does not conclusively prove dogs can detect seizures in people. Having a senior care provider who can help your parent during a seizure could be a better option. Senior care providers may not be able to proactively spot a seizure coming, but they can keep an older adult safer during one.
Senior care providers can administer first aid during a seizure. A senior care provider can move hard objects out of the way, so the older adult does not hit them. They can also time the seizure and call for emergency medical assistance if the seizure goes on for an unusually long time.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Massapequa, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.
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