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How to Make Your Home Seizure-Safe: Living with Epilepsy

mother and 2 daughters

There is no easy way to put it - living with Epilepsy can be a challenging experience, mainly because of the unpredictability of seizures and the vulnerable condition they leave the sufferers in. Many patients report living with a constant sense of dread and suffer isolation in social and professional life because of it.

Life is stressful anyway in the 21st century and the fear of unprovoked seizures and the resultant isolation can create severe added stress, leading to a host of other medical conditions. Epilepsy especially has been linked with a significantly higher chance of having Depression and suicidal tendencies.

 But it need not be that hard. Doctors the world over agree that most Seizures are curable with correct diagnosis and medication, and with some lifestyle modifications, Epilepsy patients too can lead a normal life. Self-management plays an important role in allowing Epilepsy sufferers to live normally and sociably.

And a big part of that is making your home seizure-safe.

Epilepsy is a dysfunction of the central nervous system characterized by sudden and unusual spikes of electrical charges in brain cells leading to seizures. Since we are not in control of our bodies during seizures there is a huge risk of injuries or other complications even in known environments. So, making your immediate environment AKA home safe for that duration is one of the most fundamental safety measures you need to put in place. 

Types and duration of seizures vary wildly from person to person, so it is important to first have a very clear idea of what kind of threat you are facing during your seizures. That said, a few broad threat areas can be detected in general - water, electricity, height, fire, sharp objects.

WATER

When you live with seizures, water can seriously become your enemy. Drowning remains one of the biggest cause of seizure-driven death worldwide, and slippery surfaces can result in extreme injuries while having a seizure. So safeguarding your bathroom is the top priority when it comes to your home.

 What to do:
WHAT NOT TO DO:

 

FIRE/HEAT

The closest we are to fire in this day and age is in the kitchen. Proximity to fire while having a seizure is quite obviously not a good idea, but we all need to eat. How to minimize the risks then?

 

SHARP OBJECTS

Knives, furniture edges, metal structures - any sharp object is risky as it is, but when your body is out of control they can pose an even greater risk.

 

ELECTRICITY

You should be doubly careful when handling electrical equipment if you have Epilepsy. But these procedures are good practice regardless of any condition you might have.

 

HEIGHT

If your seizure makes you fall frequently, even normal living spaces can become a source of injury. The first thing to ensure during a fall is to break up the impact which we usually do by throwing our hands or legs forward and falling on them – and this happens voluntarily. But during a seizure, your brain and body may not be in a position to send or receive voluntary signals, so you better be prepared.

 

ASK FOR HELP

We may be living in an increasingly individualistic culture, but the human civilization is built on cooperation, and never is that spirit more evident when we are in trouble. So, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help – from friends, family members, and even strangers.

 

CONCLUSION

These seem like a lot of changes to incorporate in a lifestyle. But changes are not always sad, they can be exciting too. Living with Epilepsy may require some readjustments but it should not in any way cost you your quality of life. Taking the above-mentioned step will only help you take control of your life in a better and safer way.

Author
Premier Neurology

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