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Safety for people with epilepsy
26 Aug22

How to Ensure Safety at Home When You Live with Someone with Epilepsy

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The chances of accidents for patients with epilepsy were 7% higher at home than outside of the home. If you are someone living with an individual diagnosed with epilepsy, preventing dangerous accidents becomes a crucial part of your routine. A seizure could occur anywhere – while they are taking a shower, preparing a meal, or getting ready for bed. However, home is one place where these mishaps can be prevented. While it can get a little stressful, foolproofing your home can help relieve some of the anxiety. Here are some ways to ensure safety at home when you live with someone with epilepsy:

A few general tips:

  • Carry a baby monitor to the shower or any room that is on a different level. This way you can ensure the person with epilepsy is safe

  • Avoid locking doors and instead, place an occupied sign for privacy

  • Use showerheads instead of tubs for them to take a bath

  • Have them shower with lukewarm water to avoid burns

  • Ensure that someone is in the house whenever they are taking a shower, especially if they are prone to frequent seizures

  • Switch manual razors with electric ones to avoid any accidents

  • Keep rubber gloves in the kitchen in case they ever want to clean. Have a strict rule for your roommate to stay away from hot surfaces

  • Induct yourself, any friends and family members of the patient with epilepsy into basic first-aid such as the Heimlich maneuver. This can come in handy in case a seizure causes them to choke on food

  • Put a bed barrier in place so they avoid sleeping on their stomach

How to make the bathroom safe

The bathroom is the place in the home that is most prone to mishaps. The floors are slippery, there is glass and other items that hurt someone with frequent uncontrollable seizures, and the individual wants privacy in the bathroom. Here are some ways to make a bathroom safe for someone with epilepsy to use:

  • Place non-skid footwear or mats in bathrooms to prevent the person with epilepsy from slipping and falling

  • Install doors that open outwards so that they are not blocked and are easy to open in case the patient falls

  • Install shower curtains and make it a point to avoid locking doors

  • Safeguard the bathroom by installing tub rails and grab bars

  • Have a shower chair or a tub to sit and shower in if you are prone to frequent seizures

Kitchen safety tips for someone with epilepsy

The kitchen is another place where accidents happen on a daily basis. As someone living with a patient with epilepsy, you need to make sure to prevent a post-seizure mishap. While most individuals can prepare a meal on their own, it is recommended to do so in company. Here are some ways to ensure safety in the kitchen when you live with someone with epilepsy:

  • Buy food processors and choppers instead of knives

  • Give preference to using the microwave or induction instead of the stove

  • Purchase unbreakable cutlery to avoid more injuries

  • Use armrest chairs in the dining area. This will help prevent falls during seizures

  • Cover up hot drinks with a lid and use a straw instead of drinking from the cup

Seizure safety in the bedroom

While the bedroom is a relatively safe place, certain objects in there can cause falls and injuries. The individual experiencing a seizure could choke on their vomit in their sleep and their caretaker could miss a seizure that might need medical attention. 

  • Remove sharp or any other dangerous objects from near the bed. If there is a bedside table, cover its edges in a protector

  • Make sure either you or someone else sleeps with them in the room

  • Don’t add mats on the floors that could slip

Your home can be made a safe and accessible place for people with epilepsy by taking the necessary measures. This way, you do not have to worry about accidents and can always stay assured of their safety. You may also like to read our blog post on first aid for seizures.

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