Posted on: 30 November 2015Share
If you are scheduled to have knee replacement surgery, chances are good that you are already having some mobility issues. The good news is that you will likely regain your ability to get around more easily after your surgery. This will not be an immediate effect of the surgery, however; you will need to make some changes around your home to allow you to recuperate comfortably. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you prepare your home to accommodate your healing after knee replacement.
Plan for One-Story Living
If you currently have your bedroom on the upstairs level of your home, you'll need to set up a place for you to sleep on the main floor. Since you probably won't be able to climb a flight of stairs for a few weeks, you will want your sleeping area to be comfortable; a pull-out sofa could do in a pinch, but renting a hospital bed or borrowing a twin bed might be a better option.
In addition to arranging a sleeping area, be sure that you don't have throw rugs in the bathroom, cords running across a walkway or other hazards that you might not even pay attention to pre-surgery. You might be using a walker or cane, and you'll be a bit unsteady on your feet, so you need to make sure that you clear all obstacles that could cause a fall.
Install Nightlights, Hand Rails and Grab Bars
You might have no problem maneuvering around your home now, regardless of light level, but when you are recuperating from surgery, extra safeguards will reduce your risk of injuring yourself. Plug nightlights into your bathroom, kitchen and hallway outlets. These can make it less likely that you'll stub your toe or trip over something dropped on the floor, which might cause a fall.
Before your surgery, have someone install hand rails and grab bars in the bathroom and other areas where you might need them. Be sure they're put in tightly and that they'll be able to support your weight if you should need them.
Arrange for Help
It's best if you can have a friend, relative or nurse stay with you for the first few days after surgery. This person can prepare your meals and be nearby when you get up to use the bathroom or otherwise move around the home. If you find that you're too tired or in too much pain to get back to bed on your own, they can help you.
Having in home health care is a common option. The nurse can stay overnight for a night or two, then wean down to simply visiting each day. He or she will be able to help you time your medications properly and can help with the activities of daily living, like getting dressed and bathing, if you're not up to doing it on your own yet.
Knee replacement surgery involves a recuperation period that can last for a few months. Take steps before your surgery to make sure that you'll be safe and taken care of at home during this time.