As you're getting ready to go in for your total hip replacement, start thinking about your recovery at home. Understanding what to expect while you're at home will make your recovery go easier. Doing a few things to prepare your house will make it a more friendly place in which to recover. Here are some tips to help you be prepared for a successful recovery at home.

Having Help at Home is Important

You'll be released from the hospital a few days after your hip surgery. Your doctor and nurses will have shown you how to get in and out of bed. Physical therapy will have started you walking. You'll be ready and excited to go home. Once you walk into your house, you may realize that there are a number of activities for which you're not prepared. For the first few days, you'll need someone at home with you for support.

Small tasks such as feeding the cat and getting the paper from the front yard may seem daunting until you have built up your strength and coordination. Having one or more friends, family members or home care aids there to help do laundry, fix meals and help you in and out of the bathtub will be important during the first days or weeks of healing.

Your role is to focus on your exercises and physical therapy to strengthen your muscles and hip joint. When you have the help at home, you're free to spend your energy on healing and recovery instead of the normal daily activities around the house.

Preparing Your House for Coming Home

For the first few weeks you may be unsteady on your feet and any obstacles at home could be a major hurdle. Some areas of the house could be dangerous for you to walk through until you make a few adjustments. Before you go in for surgery, make the following changes in your house:

  • Take items that you use regularly out of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and place them on the counter, at arm level. This prevents you from having to reach up or bend down to access these items.
  • Move the furniture around so you have a clear path through the rooms with crutches or a walker.
  • Avoid stairs for a few weeks by moving your bedroom downstairs to the main living area.
  • If you don't have one, buy a good chair that is firm and doesn't make you sink low into it when you sit. The over-soft chair will be difficult to get in and out of and may put stress on your hip muscles.
  • Pick up any throw rugs that could cause you to slip and fall.
  • Move any electrical cords off of the floor that could get tangled up in your feet.
  • Rent a shower chair for a few weeks so you won't have to stand in the shower or sit down in the tub.
  • Get one of the reaching tools that help you pick things off of the floor or from high places.

Prepare your home before you go in for surgery and arrange for plenty of help for when you do get home. Your recovery from hip replacement will go smoother with less risk of problems that can cause a setback.