Safety at Home
For many of us, our homes are our retreats, places that welcome us back at the end of a long hard day and where we feel safe and comfortable. Things we may take for granted around our homes can be hazardous for a person living with epilepsy. However, taking some precautions and making simple adaptations can help prevent many accidents, enabling those living with epilepsy to feel safe in their own homes.
You can check out our list of helpful home safety tips on our factsheet, Safety at Home (please click to download)
Some people who live with epilepsy also enlist the help of some safety devices to create some peace of mind for themselves. Technology certainly has come a long way in helping people with epilepsy stay independent and safe at home. You can find out more about a few of these products below:
Seizure Detection & Alert Devices:
The Embrace Watch: www.empatica.com/product-embrace
This watch will begin shipping in December 2015 and it is billed as a “gorgeous watch designed to save lives”. While it works in much the same way as other fitness and sleep tracking watches do, it has some extra features that give people with epilepsy greater peace of mind. It contains an accelerometer which detects movements that convulsive seizures produce and will send an alert to parents, caregivers etc. phone that a seizure is happening. This watch is compatible with both iPhone and Android. You can learn more about the Embrace App here.
The Embrace watch costs approximately $200.00(USD) and comes in a variety of colors of leather bands for adults and blue and pink stretchable bands for children (which can be worn on the wrist or ankles for smaller children)
Embrace and the Epilepsy Foundation have partnered to provide a “one for one” program which means when you purchase an Embrace watch, one is given free of charge to someone in need. People in Canada on lower fixed incomes can apply to receive an Embrace watch through this program and you can find the application here.
The SmartMonitor – SmartWatch: www.smart-monitor.com/smartwatch/about-smartwatch/
This watch also is able to detect movements during a convulsive seizure and sends an alert to a caregiver’s phone that a seizure is happening. There are lots of other features included with this watch besides the motion detection and instant alerts. Users find comfort knowing they can get help at the push of a button, automated seizure recording which can be accessed on other devices later, GPS location tracking, a snooze button in case of a “false alarm” and the ability to send alerts to multiple contacts.
People who purchase this watch, which can range in price from $99.00-199.00(USD) are also required to pay a monthly subscription fee of $19.99 so that the features of the watch are enabled. The SmartWatch user must have an Android phone for features to work however text messages and alerts can be sent to any other kind of mobile phone.
Emfit Movement Monitor: www.emfit.com/movement-monitor/
The Emfit Movement Monitor helps give families some peace of mind during the night; a sensor pad is placed under the mattress of a child who may experience a seizure while in bed and an alarm next to the bed goes off if a seizure is detected. This alarm can be set to different sensitivity levels to help minimize false alarms for families. This device helps kids stay in their own beds and gives parents relief knowing that they will hear the alarm if a seizure occurs during naptime, nighttime or early in the morning. The Emfit Movement Monitor costs $774.00 (CAD) and is ordered through their website.
SAMi Alert System: www.samialert.com/
The SAMi (Sleep Activity Monitor) is a video-based nighttime movement detection system. With the use of specialized software and an infrared camera, parents and caregivers are alerted on their iOS (Apple) device to unusual movements. Such events are recorded and can be downloaded for further reference and use. SAMi is configurable and uses analytics to separate tossing and turning from an unusual movement event such as a convulsive seizure. You can purchase SAMi with a dedicated WiFi router so that you can take the whole system with you when you travel and it allows for self-monitoring during sleep with or without an alarm. The SAMi app, available from the Apple Store, allows users to configure thigns such as alarm volume and sensitivity, and set recording times.
SAMi is available for purchase from the website above at a cost of $899.00 (USD) with additional accessories, adaptors and extension cords available for purchase as well.
Epilepsy Motion Detector Monitor – the Stevens Company: www.stevens.ca/Images/docs/Monitor.pdf
This compact system includes a sensitive motion sensor for use in beds: under the mattress on a foam pad support to detect motion in events like seizures. The control box is normally located near the bed and is adjustable to provide a suitable time delay to minimize false alarms for short duration movements (i.e. tossing and turning during the night). There is also a sensitivity adjustment to allow for variations in mattress thickness and degrees of movement.
A rechargeable battery is installed in the control box as a standby power supply in the event of a power outage. The alarm initiates a signal to a wired, remote alarm box so that caregivers can be alerted to a possible seizure in the night and can provide help quickly. This monitor is available for purchase for $995.00 (CAD)
Fall Detection and Direct Assistance
Good Samaritan-Telecare Safety products: www.goodsamaritantelecare.com/
Fall Alert Pendant
This intelligent pendant is both a manual help button and an automatic fall detector. It can be worn three different ways and is water resilient (meaning it can be worn in the shower or bath). It will send an automatic alarm to a base unit which connects directly to the Telecare response centre to send help to you.
CookStop – automatic appliance shut off device
When the stove is turned on, the CookStop constantly monitors for motion in the area around the stove. When motion stops and the stovetop is left unattended, the CookStop will turn off the appliance to prevent an accidental fire.
Please contact Good Samaritan Telecare for a quote on product cost: 1-800-676-8397
Philips Lifeline: www.lifeline.ca/content/english/medical_alert_service/products/auto_alert
Philips Lifeline users wear a water resistant pendant while at home which will automatically connect them to help at the press of a button. Users can also purchase the pendant with “autoalert” which detects falls and sends help without the user having to press the button. The pendant must be purchased in conjunction with a communicator base system which connects to your home phone line.
Please contact Philips Lifeline for a quote on product and services cost: 1-866-784-1992
Other Safety Products
Sleep Safe Anti-Suffocation Pillow: www.sleep-safe.co.uk/
An anti-suffocation product designed and manufactured in the UK, the Sleep Safe pillow is designed to allow airflow should a person end up face down during or after a seizure occurs. You can order directly from the website and the Sleep Safe pillow costs approximately $150.00 (CAD)
Helmets – everyday fall protection
Some families feel a little more at ease knowing their loved one is wearing a helmet to protect their head in case of a fall or seizure. You can find out more information about the different types of helmets that are available for adults and children at the links below:
Danmar Helmets: http://w.mawebcenters.com/danmarproducts/ecommerce/headgear/helmets-soft-hard.html
Plum Enterprises: http://www.plument.com/protectacap.htm
Stevens Medical Supply: http://stevens.ca/generic.htm?ECINFO=EPILEPSY
Kids Safety Hats: http://www.kidssafetyhats.com
Patterson Medical Supply: http://www.pattersonmedical.ca/app.aspx?cmd=get_subsections&id=58012