Before you go to the hospital for surgery, set up your home to make your recovery and life easier when you come back. Do this well in advance of your surgery.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or physical therapist about getting your home ready.
Make It Easy for Yourself
Make sure everything you need is easy to get to and on the same floor where you will spend most of your time. If you will need to use the stairs, you should limit using them to once a day.
- Have a bed that is low enough so that your feet touch the floor when you sit on the edge of the bed.
- Set up your bed on the first floor if you can. You may not need a hospital bed, but your mattress should be firm.
- Have a bathroom or a portable commode on the same floor where you will spend most of your day.
- Stock up on canned or frozen food, toilet paper, shampoo, and other personal items.
- Either buy or make single meals that can be frozen and reheated.
- Make sure you can reach everything you need without getting on your tiptoes or bending down low.
- Put food and other supplies in a cupboard that is between your waist and shoulder level.
- Place glasses, your teapot, and other items you use a lot on the kitchen counter.
- Make sure you can get to your phone. A portable phone can be helpful.
- Place a chair with a firm back in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and other rooms you will use. This way, you can sit when you do your daily tasks.
- If you will be using a walker, attach a sturdy bag or a small basket to it to hold your phone, a notepad, a pen, and another other things you will need to have close by. You can also use a fanny pack.
You may need help bathing, using the toilet, cooking, running errands, shopping, going to the doctor, and exercising. If you do not have someone to help you at home for the first 1 or 2 weeks after surgery, ask your health care provider about having a trained caregiver come to your home to help you. This person can also check the safety of your home and help you with your daily activities.
Other items that may help:
- A shower sponge with a long handle
- A shoehorn with a long handle
- A cane, crutches, or a walker
- A reacher to help you pick up things from the floor, put on your pants, and take off your socks
- A sock aid to help you put on your socks
- Handle bars in the bathroom to allow you to steady yourself