Epilepsy Seizure Proofing Your House
Protecting Those With Epilepsy and Recurrent Seizures From Injury at Home
Seizure-proofing your home is more than just taking the time to pad sharp corners, though that is a primary necessity. You should look at every surface and object in your home with a critical eye, considering possible injuries if you should collapse from a seizure. Countertops, door frames, furniture and appliances all became impact hazards if you suddenly collapse due to a seizure. Here are some ideas to help you seizure-proof your home.
Wall-to-wall carpeting with upgraded padding is your friend if you have a seizure disorder, especially if a seizure occurs without warning. The extra padding that carpeting provides for floor surfaces helps to minimize injury during a fall. However, throw rugs can present a trip or fall hazard since not all seizures are the same. It is best if no loose carpet is anywhere in your home, especially at landings at the top of stairs or at doorway thresholds. Tile surfaces in bathrooms should be treated to make them non-slip.
A stair lift with a seat belt is an option if you have seizures that cause you to lose consciousness or fall. Padded and carpeted stairs can slightly reduce severity of injuries. Though it is best for you to avoid stairs when seizures are not fully under control, a seated ascent and descent might be helpful. The seated stair ascent and descent is used by those who have lost the use of or have had amputations of their lower limbs. It is not a risk-free stair climbing option but can be safer when stairs must be used in your home.
Edge Impact Protection
One of the biggest hazards is hitting your head on the corner of a table or the edge of a countertop, appliance or doorway. There are many manufacturers of padded protection products that can be applied to edges and corners. Most manufacturers market their products that pad sharp corners and edges to protect babies and toddlers. You can often find them in department stores and specialty stores that sell products for infants. Home medical supply companies may be another resource. You may need to choose products from different manufacturers to get edge padding and corner protectors that best suit the surfaces and thickness of padding you need in your home.
Every home has a measure of clutter. Much of it falls under the category of interior decor. Glass furniture, sculptures, wall hangings under glass, pottery pieces and other such decor can become a serious hazard in a fall brought on by a seizure. Shower doors and mirrors can also cause severe lacerations when shattered. You should inspect your home and clear obstacles that could be an impact risk or could cut you if they break in a fall. Glass in picture frames and mirrors can be replaced with shatterproof plastic. Glass shower enclosures should be replaced with something that cannot break and cut you.
Choose to use a microwave for cooking, and set the timer appropriately for each item being heated. If you use the oven, be sure to set a timer for it to automatically shut off. Auto-shutoff features on coffee makers and other appliances can be helpful. If you choose to use a stove top for cooking, at least use the back burners in case you fall forward in a fall. Using a knife while seated at a table is safer than standing at a counter. If you have an aura or other warning of impending seizure, cold sandwiches or delivered food may be a safer option until things are better.
In addition, inward opening bathroom doors should be reversed to open outward. This permits easier rescue if you should collapse inside. You should always use a fireplace barrier or shield to prevent you from coming into contact with heating appliances. Keyed deadbolts on exterior doors can help if you are subject to a postictal wandering phase after a seizure. If you have young children, add stair gates to prevent them from wandering if you have a seizure.