Navigating Epilepsy: The Road Ahead

The Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group’s Spring Epilepsy Wellness Program in New York and New Jersey

purple-scarf-and-hat-150x150Driving is not allowed if your epileptic seizures aren’t fully under control. The biggest problem though is that in most of the USA, if you can’t drive, you are pretty much sentenced to being homebound because public transportation or people who will volunteer to drive you around can be hard to find. The longer this goes on the more independence is lost. It can be hard to obtain or keep a job, to participate in social activities, or just to get out for a change in scenery. Eventually a big chunk of waking hours may be spent at home alone. Sadly, days are spent watching TV, playing video games, and on the computer which can “get old” pretty quickly.
As health providers, we were also frustrated because quality of life and mental and physical wellbeing are so important for overall health. Our Epilepsy Life Links team brainstormed and came up with the idea of providing our epilepsy patients with courses and workshops. We knew that the duration of the courses had to be brief and they had to be local (preferably in the doctors’ offices which were usually close to public transportation). The workshop choices had to be picked based on safety, materials had to be relatively inexpensive and simple enough to learn quickly even if a session or two were missed. The skills needed to be something that could be taken home and that could continue to be practiced alone on an ongoing basis. The activities had to be varied including physical exercise as well as the arts and practical skills to give participants an array of choices. We then had to obtain the financial support from the doctors in our practice, instructors who worked for reduced fees, two yoga studios that offered their space, and some of our medical offices opened their conference rooms or waiting rooms.
We are now very happy to unveil the Epilepsy Life Links 2013 Spring Wellness in Epilepsy program. Professionals in several arenas of wellness are on board offering instruction on various ways to get moving, be creative and grow personally. The current 2013 Wellness in Epilepsy program includes: Introduction to painting, yoga, a drum circle group (learn to play a bongo drum), and purple knitting/crochet clubs now being offered over two months in several locations in New Jersey and New York City. Stay tuned for our Fall Wellness in Epilepsy Program. Some possible choices that are being bounced around are: photography, decoupage, and mat pilates.
To see the schedule and sign up for our workshops, visit www.epilepsygroup.com events page. You can also contact Melissa Fleming, Program Coordinator at (212) 661-7460 Ext. 123.

Leave a Reply