An epilepsy and seizure diagnosis can be challenging and impact many areas of your life. The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFMN) can be a helpful partner for you and your family throughout your epilepsy journey.
The Care Coordination Referral process will provide one-to-one support and access to the necessary resources you may need now and moving forward.
EFMN will assist you and your family to identify what your current needs are as well as an action plan for how EFMN can provide information, services, and ways to connect with others impacted by epilepsy. This support will help you best navigate through various resources and systems to ensure you are getting high-level and all-encompassing care to improve your overall wellbeing.
For people with epilepsy, the primary focus of physical wellbeing is controlling and/or managing seizures. This comes down to managing seizure triggers. According to the Managing Epilepsy Well Checklist, this includes taking medication as prescribed, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting sufficient and consistent sleep, lowering stress, and avoiding or limiting recreational substance use. In addition to these topics addressed by the Managing Epilepsy Well Checklist, EFMN recognizes that the responsibility for achieving physical health for people with epilepsy is not solely on the person with epilepsy: it is important that those around a person with epilepsy know how to perform seizure first aid to limit the chances of injury, and that they have access and knowledge to seizure rescue medications to limit the risk or impact of status epilepticus or SUDEP.
Mental and cognitive health issues tend to co-occur with epilepsy. Anxiety and Depression are common comorbidities of epilepsy, and having seizures can lead to memory problems. Essential aspects of mental wellbeing are getting help for mental health concerns through working with a mental health professional, and addressing memory issues with memory strategies. In addition to addressing memory and mental health, an essential part of mental wellbeing is knowing about your condition. Knowing about your condition is important because decreasing unknowns in your health makes health conditions feel more manageable, increases ownership of condition, and improves ability to advocate for yourself and your health.
Social isolation is a well-known effect of seizures, and the largest aspect of social wellbeing is avoiding social isolation. Two aspects of social wellbeing are addressed in the Managing Epilepsy Well Checklist. The first is having a good relationship with your doctor, so you can speak with them about health concerns and about using other therapies. This connection can improve health outcomes. The second aspect is to keep connected to friends and family. EFMN believes that relationships within the epilepsy community are also essential, so people understand that they are not alone in their journey and experiences with epilepsy.
The Care Coordination Referral system will be a proactive and trusted gateway for patients and caregivers into EFMN and with advancement through the established care and support model patients will be more apt to achieve improved health and wellbeing.
Brette Garnatz wants to talk about the things we’re too often quiet about. Her message to others with epilepsy is think about and be active in managing your mental health.Continue Reading
Our Information Services team provides free, one-on-one support for all people affected by epilepsy, whether directly or tangentially.Learn More