The type of surgery for which you are scheduled will determine what you need to do to prepare your home. Here are some suggestions to make life easier during your recovery:
- Prepare a room on the main living level, if you usually sleep upstairs. Or set things up so you have to go upstairs only once a day. Choose a space, close to a bathroom if possible, where you can comfortably spend much of your time after surgery.
- Organize frequently used items so they will be easily reached. You’ll want to store supplies at a height that does not require stretching, especially to the extremity on which surgery was performed. Storing supplies between waist and shoulder level is ideal for joint replacement patients.
- Have a high-seated chair with arms in every room if possible.
- Consider ways to make meal preparation easier. This may include stocking up on frozen dinners, making and freezing meals ahead of time, and having ingredients on hand for easy to prepare meals. Consider asking family and friends for help with specific tasks such as rides to appointments, cleaning, shopping, and cooking.
- You will also be required to have a ride home from the hospital organized before your surgery.
- Check the safety of your home to prevent falls or tripping, ensuring that long electrical and telephone cords are moved against the wall and taped down, loose rugs are removed, and a non-skid mat is placed in your bathtub.
- Purchase or borrow the assistive devices or special equipment your physician or physiotherapist recommended – raised toilet seat, bath chair, long-handled devices such as bath brush, shoehorn, grabber and sock aid. It may be helpful to practice using the items at home before your surgery.
- Find out what local drug stores and supermarkets have a delivery service.
You may also wish to consider stopping delivery of newspapers and mail, and arranging for pet care if you expect to be in hospital or a rehab centre for a while.