Monday, February 01, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In order to better serve seniors and their caregivers in Northern Florida, the Gainesville office of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida has accepted a $4,000 grant from the United Way Endowment Fund to kick off their ‘Seniors & Seizures’ initiative in Marion County.
“Senior citizens are the most rapidly growing population group with epilepsy, and the most misdiagnosed,” said Susan Eddins, the EFOF Statewide Prevention & Education Coordinator in charge of the new initiative. “So we’re very proud to be able to offer this important program with help from the United Way to serve our seniors here in Marion County.”
The Seniors & Seizures program will offer 20 one-hour trainings beginning in February, targeting medical professionals, other caregivers and seniors. The sessions will be conducted by specially trained EFOF personnel.
Availability is limited, so medical and social service agencies, nursing homes, independent and assisted living facilities, and other support organizations wishing to schedule a training session at their own facilities should contact Ms. Eddins at 352-378-4324 or email her at
The trainings will touch on a variety of topics such as seizure recognition, first aid, treatment and diagnosis/misdiagnosis. Epilepsy in seniors often is misdiagnosed as one of many other mental or physical conditions associated with aging.
To better serve a broader section of the community, trainings will be held in both English and Spanish, with a special goal of reaching caregivers and seniors in rural and other areas lacking medical and other support services.
Epilepsy Foundation of Florida Offers ‘Seniors & Seizures’ Services - 2
While the main focus is on providing medical personnel and staff with information about epilepsy and seizures, seizure first-aid, treatment and medications, the Foundation will also offer direct services to seniors such as case management and support groups.
“Of course, we have a large population of senior citizens in Marion County and across Florida, so this is an important issue,” said Karen Basha Egozi, chief executive officer of EFOF. “We’re very appreciative of the United Way in helping our efforts to serve this large and important group of residents and the folks who care for them.”
EFOF is a member of Marion Senior Alliance, and has working relationships with Marion County Senior Services and the Marion County Health Department. For more information on the Gainesville office of EFOF, call 352-378-4324 or visit
The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF) was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) and  serves as the lead advocate for rights and needs of people with epilepsy and other seizure disorders.  The family of epilepsy disorders is the third-most prevalent neurological condition in the United States, striking approximately 3 million people nationally and 360,000 people in Florida. About 42,000 people die each year in the U.S. due to seizures from epilepsy and related causes.  The EFOF -- with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville and Gainesville -- provides numerous services to individuals and families, such as advocacy and counseling, education and prevention, direct medical and neuropsychological services, as well as research and other programs regardless of financial situation or socioeconomic status.  For more information, visit or call 305-670-4949.
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The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF) leads the fight to stop seizures,
find a cure and overcome challenges created by epilepsy.



Services For The Deaf

EFOF is committed to providing services to Floridians who are deaf or hard of hearing.  The foundation will ensure that auxiliary aids and services are provided for these clients or their companions.