Rearranging your home or making the necessary safety adjustments to accommodate your epilepsy may be difficult, but not impossible. Moreover, ensuring the home safety of a person with epilepsy does not only involve the patient, but the whole family.
As with making the workplace safe for employees with epilepsy, rearranging the home for safety purposes also requires taking the first important step: a thorough risk assessment. It is important that such an assessment is performed by a qualified professional, such as an epilepsy specialist or a social worker or a care giver with experience in helping patients with epilepsy, so that nothing could be missed. As one may realize, there is no middle range when it comes to doing this: the home is either safe or not, and there is no “in between.” Overlooking a particular aspect, no matter how small, might turn out to be enough to put the life of the patient at grave risk.
Generally speaking, making the home safe for a person with epilepsy can be as straightforward as installing heavy under-padding for the carpet throughout the house, or placing cushions or pads on any equipment or home furniture that has sharp corners or edges. Awareness of certain hazards (water, fire, electricity) in the presence of a person with uncontrolled seizures is often the key in determining what should be done. As such, never leave a person with epilepsy alone in a room with an open fireplace. Most often, the assistance of family members is needed especially if the patient has unpredictable seizures. For example, even the simple task of ironing clothes can be risky if the person with epilepsy is alone in the house.
Obviously, these measures to enhance home safety for the sake of the person with epilepsy would not be effective enough without the support of the family or loved ones. As always, their constant vigilance and awareness of risk play a key role in making the home as safe as possible.