Abled people have to take necessary safety precautions because safety is a concern for everyone but when you are disabled it’s different because as a disabled person, you can’t defend yourself to the extent an abled person can and it’s easy for someone to take advantage of that. As a disabled person, I am left home alone sometimes but it’s usually only for a few hours because there are more risks that I could fall and seriously hurt myself. I like being home alone because I can get more done when there aren’t distractions but as a disabled person with a physical disability that can’t really defend themselves it can be a scary thought to think that someone could break into my home and easily overpower. As a disabled person I have been left alone and although nothing bad has ever happened it’s something you always have to think about when you are disabled and home alone because we live in a scary world where there is a lot of crime. When I am left home alone I know I am safe because I would not be left alone in an unsafe environment but since I am a disabled woman I do get a little more anxious than an abled-bodied person would. In this post, I am going to talk about how I stay safe as a disabled person when I am home alone.
Never post on social media that you are home alone- When I go on vacation I often will give my readers a ballpark of how long to expect me to be gone so people don’t think I quit and unfollow me but never will you see me post on social media the exact day I am leaving and when I will be returning. I am not worried about a vast majority of my followers robbing me because half of my followers do not live in the same state as me and would quite literally have to get on a plane and figure out exactly where I lived to be able to break into my home. Content creators being stalked by followers is something that is not going to happen to everyone but it can happen and I have seen some instances where people have had to move because of crazy-obsessed followers which would not only be inconvenient for me but my parents whom I live with would also be affected. Stalking is more common amongst YouTubers than bloggers because on YouTube you are constantly showing your face whereas with blogging you may never see what someone looks like but you can never be too careful. As I am writing this I am not home alone but if I were I wouldn’t be posting about it publicly online because you never know who knows where you live and is just waiting for you to leave and if you are going to advertise that you might as well put a sign on your door that says “my house is empty and no one is expected to return for a few hours so feel free to break in.” I have said what state I live in but I never tell people the exact address of my home and if you know that information you should never say it publicly because it’s not only unsafe for disabled people but abled people as well.
Get a camera- If you want to feel safer and increase the security in your home, get a camera because if heaven forbid someone does break in, there is a higher likelihood of seeing who broke in and being able to catch them in the act. I will not tell you exactly where the cameras in my home are for security reasons but we do have them because you can never be too careful and it makes me feel a little bit safer as a disabled woman when I am home alone.
Always have your phone nearby– When I am home alone I always have my phone nearby and it’s not because I am overly worried that someone will break into my house and murder me but I also have it just in case I fall and can’t get up. I am trying to get an emergency response button that I could easily press if I were to fall but I don’t have it yet because it needs a doctors note that says it’s medically necessary for insurance to pay for it. I don’t always answer my phone right away when I am home alone and it depends on what I am doing but it’s always nearby because there is nothing worse than falling and not being able to get up.
Don’t order out– As a disabled person with a physical disability I never order takeout when I am home alone because usually, I will not be able to bring it inside without help. Delivery drivers will help you bring your food inside if you let them in and a vast majority of people will be nice but as a disabled person, you can’t put too much trust into a total stranger. As a disabled person, I order out sometimes but when I am home alone I eat what I have in my house because I would have to let someone in my house which is very unsafe for a disabled person who can’t defend themselves.
Stay inside- When I am home alone usually you will not find me outside for any reason even if it’s just in my backyard because you don’t want to make it too obvious that no one else is there with you. I always stay inside my home when it’s only me because there is no reason, that you need to be outside chilling by the pool but as a disabled person it doesn’t feel safe to be outside even if I am in my backyard and no one probably sees me.
Don’t do things that risk falling– – As a disabled person I fall more often because I have less stability than abled people and it’s easier for me to fall and hurt myself. When I was young I was taught the correct way to fall but even though I know how to fall and can usually avoid serious injuries that doesn’t mean I can’t get hurt. As a disabled person, I am always prepared to fall because it’s a fact of life when you have a physical disability. Sometimes I fall because I slipped on a piece of paper I didn’t see but there are times I fell because I was doing things I shouldn’t. When I am home alone I am not at a great risk for falling because I take more safety precautions than I normally would and am mostly using my wheelchair to get around and the only way I would get hurt is if I was doing something seriously dumb like trying to stand on my wheelchair or something. If you are disabled and home alone you don’t have to sit in bed and watch Netflix until someone gets home but if you are unstable it’s always a good idea to stick with what you know you can do confidently and if you can use a wheelchair as much as possible. I try to walk as much as I can because I am still rehabbing my hip but when I am home alone I usually don’t walk as much to be safe.
Do not answer the door- Parents teach their young kids not to take things from strangers or to answer the door for someone they don’t know because it’s unsafe. I don’t think kids are the only ones that should be practicing that rule but it also can help disabled who can’t defend themselves stay safe when they are home alone. If I knew my sister was coming and the door was locked I would answer the door for her but if I got no call or text from someone I will not answer the door especially when I am home alone. Most people that ring your doorbell will be delivering packages or trying to sell you something and your life will not be threatened most of the time but unfornately we live in a scary world where we can’t assume everyone is nice and won’t try to take advantage of someone the second they realize that you are disabled and are not able to fight back like abled people can.
Safety is always a concern when you are disabled and home alone because abled people will take advantage of someone’s disability if you let them but it’s even more frightening when there is no one around to help you when there is trouble. Disabled people are at more risk than abled-bodied because people are generally going to go after the person who can’t defend themselves before they even think about approaching the person who is able to fight back. I hate that it is a reality that being disabled makes you more vulnerable and there is nothing you can do about it except being alert when you are home alone and taking the necessary safety precautions. I feel safe when I am home alone and I don’t have more anxiety because I am not safe but my disability makes me more worried and I can’t change that. The solution isn’t to having less anxiety when you are home alone isn’t to never let someone be home by themselves because it’s during those times that we learn how to cope. Abled bodied people should not use someone’s disability to their advantage but unfortunately some people will and it is never a bad idea to be aware of your surroundings and do what you can to stay safe. How do you stay safe as a disabled person when you are home alone?
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