If you’re worrying about how to prepare your home before hip or knee surgery, this article should help you enormously.
First important tip: set up your home BEFORE you go to the hospital. This will make it easier for you to recover and to live in comfort when you return. This should be done well in advance.
Ask your doctor or physical therapist to get your home ready.
Advance Home Preparation Makes It Easier
Make sure that everything is easily accessible and on the main floor (or wherever you spend most of your time.) Limit the amount of stairs you use per day to one.
- A bed should be low enough that your feet touch the ground when you are seated on the edge.
- If possible, place your bed on the main/first floor. Although you don’t necessarily need a hospital bed for your comfort, your mattress should be firm.
- You should have a toilet or portable commode located on the same floor as where you spend most of your time.
- You can stock up on canned and frozen food, toilet paper and shampoo.
- Buy or make single meals that can be frozen then reheated.
- You should be able to reach all the things you need without bending or getting on your knees.
- Place food and other supplies in a cabinet that is at your waistline and shoulders.
- Place glasses, teapots, and any other items that you use often on the kitchen countertop.
- You must be able to reach your phone. You can use a portable phone to get around.
- In the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and any other areas you use, place a sturdy chair. You will be able to sit comfortably while you complete your daily tasks.
- Attach a bag or small basket if you plan to use a walker. You can keep your phone, notepad, pen and other essential items in the bag. A fanny pack can also be used.
It is possible that you will need assistance with bathing, toilet use, cooking, shopping, going to doctor visits, exercising, and even running errands. Ask your provider to send a caregiver to your home if you don’t have anyone to help you for the first few weeks following surgery. This caregiver can help with daily activities and check on the safety of your home.
You might also be interested in these other items:
(Amazon has a Hip – Knee Replacement Kit that may be of interest.)
Bathroom Setup for Easier Use After Knee or Hip Surgery
You can reduce your knee flexion by raising the height of the toilet seat. This can be done by installing a seat cover, an elevated toilet seat, or a safety frame for the toilet. A commode chair can be used in place of a toilet.
Safety bars may be required in your bathroom. Grab bars should be attached vertically or horizontally to a wall, and not diagonally.
- Towel racks should not be used as grab bars. They will not support your weight.
- Two grab bars are required. The first helps you to get in and out the tub. The other assists you in standing from a sitting position.
There are many ways to make sure you’re safe when you take a shower or bath.
- To prevent falls, place non-slip silicone decals or rubber suction mats in the tub.
- For firm footing, use a non-skid bathmat outside the tub.
- Dry the floors outside of the bathtub or shower.
- You can place soap and shampoo anywhere you don’t need to stand, reach, or twist.
Take a shower in a chair or a bathtub.
- Rubber tips are recommended for the bottom.
- If the seat is to be placed in a tub, you can buy a chair without arms.
Avoiding Falls and Tripping In Your Home After Surgery
Avoid tripping hazards in your home.
- To move from one room to the next, remove any wires and cords.
- Take out any throw rugs that are not in use.
- Doorways with uneven flooring should be repaired. Use good lighting.
- Install night lights in darkened rooms and hallways.
You may trip if your pet is small or moves around a lot. Consider letting your pet live with a friend or in a kennel for the first few weeks of your stay.
When you’re walking, don’t carry any items. Your hands may be required to balance. To carry your phone and other items, a small backpack is a good option.
You can practice using a walker, crutches or a wheelchair. It is important to learn how to:
- You can get in and out of a seat easily
- After using the toilet, sit down and then stand up.
- Shower in the morning and get out at night
- The shower chair can be used
- Stairs can be used to ascend and descend
Is it possible to prevent hip surgery or replacement altogether?