The recovery time after surgery can be almost as important as the surgery itself. Unless you prepare ahead of time and follow your doctor’s orders, you can create situations which lead to complications, another surgery, or maybe a longer recovery time. Put some thought into preparing your home for post surgery recovery.
Set Up For Mobility
Before you go to the hospital, take a look at your home and make some changes if there aren’t clear paths throughout. It might mean you need to rearrange or temporarily remove some furniture.
- Move small furniture, tables and other impediments that would prevent a clear path to the bathroom, kitchen, living area, or bedroom. If you need crutches or a walker after surgery, this is particularly important.
- Pick up throw rugs that can cause a fall. Tape down any wires or move them to the wall.
- Increase lighting with night lights in dark halls, or add a lamp in a dark corner.
Stock Your Kitchen & Pantry
Get your kitchen in order.
- If you will be laid up for a while, prepare some dinners ahead and freeze them.
- Buy some easy to prepare meals, canned soups, and healthy snacks.
- Move plates, cups, and other necessary utensils to the counter in case you are unable to reach into a cabinet.
- Keep everything accessible.
If your bedroom is normally on the first floor, you are ahead of the game.
- Rent a hospital bed so you don’t have to climb stairs.
- Gather everything you need to keep at hand like cell phone, TV remote, your glasses, laptop or other device, and medications. Keep the small items in a basket with a handle.
- Try to put the bed near a bathroom. If that is on the second floor, rent a portable commode and place it near the bed.
- Change the sheets on the bed the day before surgery and lay out comfortable clothes.
- Buy or rent a shower chair.
- Keep all necessities within reach: soaps, shampoo, towels, and toilet paper.
- An elevated toilet seat might come in handy.
- If you don’t have grab bars, ask someone to install them.
- Get rid of rugs that can cause a slip.
- Add non-slip mats in the tub.
Engage Your Friends Or Relatives
If you live alone, be sure enough people know you are having surgery. Ask for help with shopping, doing laundry, rides to doctor appointments, etc.
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- Ask about and reflect on what limitations you will have after surgery.
- Read your post surgery instructions BEFORE surgery
Preparation for post surgery recovery will save you lots of headaches once you get home from the hospital.