My DH is physically and cognitively disabled as you may know. He has a traumatic brain injury, so even though his intelligence is in tact, he has executive functioning issues such as problem solving, planning, etc. He also uses a motorized wheelchair.
Up until now it was pretty easy to decide when it was ok for DS (4) to stay with him alone. When he was a baby and a young toddler, it was only when DS was asleep. I could run down to the drugstore after he was down for the night, etc. As DS got older (around 3) I could occasionally still do the same type of thing when he was awake because he would play independently quite well and not be upset by my leaving.
Well, earlier this year when we were living in a 5th floor apartment, DS got himself out onto the balcony for while under DH's watch. I had gone downstairs to the parking lot to clean the car and he was looking for me. DH yelled but couldn't prevent him from going out there (he actually broke the screen quite easily). Thankfully nothing happened, but I haven't left him alone with DH again since.
Now that DS is 4 he's settled down a bit and he understands safety much better, but since we live with my mom now it's been easier to avoid leaving the 2 of them alone for more than the time it takes to shower or check the mail. DH also let a census worker in the house while I was in the bathroom a couple months ago which doesn't show the best judgement.
It would really help our family next year if DS could come home on the bus from kindergarten and stay with DH for a couple hours until I get home form work. I'd like start preparing both of them for this if possible, but of course if I'm not home I won't be able to monitor the safety of the situation.
I'm thinking I could eventually invest in some technology to monitor the doors and maybe even an indoor camera. I also want to be able to leave the house for a 30 minute run around the neighborhood. Does anyone have suggestions for me on how to do this safely for both of them?