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Safety in the home
For those whose seizures are well controlled, safety in the home may be no more of an issue than for anyone else. But when seizures are a regular occurrence it can be important to consider extra safety measures that will help minimise risks in the home environment.
In 2004, a European study showed that people with epilepsy are at a higher risk of accidents and injuries than the general population with domestic accidents being the most common, followed by street and workplace accidents. People with epilepsy had a seven per cent chance of an injury in the home while for those without, the risk dropped to three per cent.
Further studies have indicated that for people with epilepsy the majority of burns happen while cooking, ironing, blow-drying hair and bathing. The higher rate of accidents in the home has been attributed to the fact that when we are in our own environment we tend to relax and are less alert.
Peace of mind
Social worker Sally Garrett-Smith describes some basic safety measures that will help you maximise safety in the home and Epilepsy Society’s Lukasz Abramowicz explains how personal safety alarms can bring added peace of mind.
'It is the simple everyday activities that we take for granted that can put anyone with uncontrolled seizures at risk of injury. Bathing, cooking, carrying a cup of coffee from one room to another - even sleeping in a warm, comfortable bed can pose certain risks if you have asleep seizures.
For anyone with epilepsy, singing in the bath takes on a greater significance, while microwaving dinner may be more than a shortcut to a quick meal. Locked doors can spell untold danger. Tales of people having seizures in the bathroom and falling against the locked door are all too common. Injuries sustained by those who fall on hard wooden floors are all too visible.
We all want to feel safe and confident within our own homes. We want to be able to relax and unwind in our own independent space while enjoying an expected amount of privacy.
'The following safety advice is designed to help make your home safer. It may not all be relevant to your particular circumstances but will hopefully help you to identify the most appropriate safety measures for you.'
Read more in Epilepsy Review
You can read more about epilepsy and safety in the home, in the latest issue of Epilepsy Review. And you can read find out about personal safety alarms.
For £13.50 (incl p&p) you can subscribe to Epilepsy Review for a year and receive three copies of the magazine. (You can order your subscription through the online shop.)
Or why not join one of our membership schemes and receive the magazine for free.