Planning For Extra Help:
Everyone will need some extra help after joint replacement -- some more than others. Patients who need extra assistance may require a stay at an inpatient rehabilitation facility. If you will be returning home, make sure you can have someone stay with you for at least several days. This person staying with you should be physically able to assist you. It is important to have someone around almost all of the time for at least a few days. You can consider hiring help, if needed.
Planning For Mobility Concerns:
After surgery, you will want to have an area where you can live without having to navigate long hallways, stairs, or other obstacles. Before you go for your surgery, try to find a place (even if temporary) where you can have a bed, bathroom, and kitchen on one level. Practice using crutches or a walker, and make sure these ambulatory aids fit within the spaces of your home. You may want to clear some spaces to make the house more easily navigable.
Planning Your Food:
Make sure you have plenty of food that can be easily prepared. Preparing food ahead of time and freezing it is a good option. In the kitchen, make sure any appliances and cutlery you need are easily within reach. Have foods available that are easy on your stomach, such as soups, crackers, and soda.
Planning Your Medications:
Be sure you have an ample supply of your medications, and know which, if any, you may be told not to resume after surgery. Ask your doctor for new prescriptions ahead of time, or during your hospitalization, so these can be obtained prior to returning home. Most patients will be prescribed a blood thinner and pain medication after surgery.
Make Your Home A Safer Place:
Some simple steps can be taken to ensure safety hazards are addressed in your home. Performing a home safety check-up is a good thing to do anytime, but it's especially important after a major surgery. A fall in the house could be a serious setback to your rehabilitation.
Plan Some Activities:
Recuperation after a major surgery can be a very boring time. Plan for some activities you find entertaining. Get a few books you have been meaning to read, gather some materials to start a scrapbook of your family vacation momentos, or get some games you can play with visitors. You may not feel up to activities, but you will want relief from boredom.