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Published: April 12, 2021
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Home Safety For TBI Sufferers

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Addressing additional house modifications that you want for someone with a traumatic brain injury. One of the most important is safety fixes. For example, fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and if there’s some other way that they need to be able to call 911, you shouldn’t rely on a cell phone because they will lose it. You want to have a hard line wired phone. I’ve talked about that in other videos, but you want to make sure you’ve got that lined up, hard-wired phone and then the next two, a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector. Above the kitchen in the house, you want to hardwired the smoke detector so that under no circumstances, the battery can run out and a fire to start.

People who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, sometimes we’ll have difficulty cooking as a result. It’s called an activity of daily living, and if they have difficulties cooking or prepping or leaving things on the stove because they get distracted and then forget they were cooking something, they will cause a fire. It’s really important that you have some system in place that not only alerts, smoke alarm goes off so it reminds them, “Hey, you were trying to cook something,” but number two, you may even want to get a service that monitors it and is already sending a fire department out. A large majority of people who’ve suffered a significant traumatic brain injury want to cook, feel comfortable cooking, and again and again, in a period of six months or a year after the incident, will have trouble in a way where they forget what they’re doing and they will catch something on fire. They will burn a wooden spoon. They will burn whatever it is, in a way that serious enough that it worries about the integrity of the house, and the smoke alarm needs to be squared away enough.

I had low battery there. It needs to be squared away enough that it isn’t a problem. Fix your smoke alarm. The other one is the carbon monoxide detector, just because it’s a safety thing. If you’re fixing your smoke alarm, you might as well address that, too. If you’re trying to overhaul the house to deal with somebody who’s got a traumatic brain injury, if they have some independence on their own, they’ll want to cook. They’ll want to do some of these other things. You want to try and make sure that the house is safe for them to do those things.

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