Home Preparation for Our Total Joint Replacement Patients
“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” Henry Ford
Setting up your home for your return will help make you more comfortable during your recovery. You will have limited joint movement and stair-climbing ability initially after surgery. In anticipation of your return home, try to do the following:
- Rearrange your most frequently used items. Store food, toiletries and other supplies at a convenient level, somewhere between your waist and shoulder.
- Stock up on easily prepared food items, including frozen and microwave foods.
- Rearrange items for easy access, including cooking items, toiletries, personal items and shoes.
You won’t be driving until your doctor gives you the “okay.”
- Find someone who will be able to help with groceries and errands, and drive you to your follow-up appointments.
- Check to see if a local, smaller grocery store might deliver telephone orders.
- Be sensitive to your family’s or close friends' needs to take some personal time away from care giving -- big hearts need extra time for their own rest!
- Find someone to help you with shopping, getting to your 2-week visit to the doctor, getting to physical therapy (3 times per week) until you are driving, and housecleaning.
If your bedroom is on the second floor, get creative! Your doctor may allow only one trip up the stairs each day during your initial recovery. Sometimes, stairs are simply “out” until your recovery reaches a certain point.
- Find a room or space on the first floor that you can call your own for a couple of weeks, and stock it with needed supplies so that you can rest during the day.
- Consider moving onto one floor temporarily to avoid stairs completely.
- Obtain a height adjustable shower seat and rubber mat for the shower.
- Obtain a raised toilet seat.
- Arrange bedside books, telephone, water and other items so that they are within easy reach.
- Make sure that you have good lighting, and that the light switch is within easy reach.
- “Fall-proof” your home.
- Remove throw rugs to avoid tripping and make sure handrails are secure.
- Check the rooms for electrical cords, foot stools, or other small objects that might be a safety hazard after surgery and reposition those that could be potentially dangerous.
- Don’t forget small pets that tend to get “under foot.”
- Obtain a raised chair or place a buildup in a chair with arms.
- Personal assistance items such as a long-handle reacher, shoe horn and sock donners (a device to help you with putting on socks, stockings or pantyhose) are advisable.