Epilepsy & Construction

Private Dwellings

03 March 2009
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The type of safety considerations necessary in the construction of dwellings for private use by persons with epilepsy depend on the nature, severity and frequency of the seizures. Thus each case should be assessed from a safety viewpoint with input from the person themselves and their medical advisors focusing on:-

How the seizures manifest: e.g. pattern, (if known) night/daytime, environmental trigger factors e.g. flashing lights.

What is likely to happen during a particular seizure, e.g. whether the person loses consciousness or not, whether falls are likely, whether wandering in a confused state is a feature.

What potential risks and hazards there are in the design of a building which can be identified as being relevant to that seizure type and whether these can be eliminated or minimized with careful planning.

Is epilepsy the person's primary disability or do they have other physical or sensory disabilities' The majority of people with epilepsy are able bodied and ambulant so safety recommendations are made herein with their needs in mind in terms of falls from standing, wandering during seizures etc.

However the recommendations made are likely to benefit mobility impaired persons with epilepsy also. People with disabilities additional to epilepsy may need safety considerations tailored to their specific needs.

Guest Accommodation

Having considered individual factors it may be useful to look at some general suggestions which identify areas of concern of safety grounds. These are all applicable to buildings which may be used on a guest/self catering basis by people with epilepsy.

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