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Recovering from hip surgery: How to get your home ready

A man holds a mug and looks out a window.

It's worth taking a close look at the space you'll be healing in.

One important step in preparing for hip replacement surgery is to get your home ready for your recovery. Making sure that your space is both safe and comfortable can make your recovery less stressful, easier and more effective. Here are some questions to ask when getting your home ready.

Will I need extra help when I first get home?

You may need help getting around for a few days after your surgery. Think about asking a family member or friend to stay over with you. You might also want to borrow or buy a cane or walker. This will make your daily routines safer as your body starts to heal.

Can I reach all the things I need?

Walk through your home and think about what you use every day. Can you reach food and dishes? How about the remote control or your toiletries? Place everything you'll need at waist to shoulder height, so that you won't have to reach, climb or bend down to get an essential item.

Are there things that I might trip on?

A home can have a lot of tripping hazards. Put non-slip pads underneath any rugs and tuck away electrical cords. During recovery, wear shoes with thin, non-slip soles. Avoid thick-soled shoes and try not to walk around wearing only your socks—these can be even more slippery.

Do I need to add any mobility aids to my home?

There are plenty of simple home mobility aids. For instance, consider adding grab bars in the bathroom for help getting in and out of the shower or using the toilet. If you have stairs in your home, make sure there are railings on both sides—and add them if needed. These will reduce the risk of falling or slipping.

Is there enough lighting in my home?

Consider adding nightlights to your bedroom or keeping a flashlight on your bedside table. This will keep you safer if you need to get up at night.

Are there any tools I should get for around the house?

There are some simple but helpful tools that you might want to have, such as reachers and grabbers. Long-handled versions of things you use often, like shoehorns or sponges, can also be useful. If you think you'll need a stepping stool, make sure to get a sturdy one with a handrail.

Is my outdoor space safe?

Do you have steps up to your door? Are there sudden edges or curbs to watch out for? Make a note of anything that you should avoid or might need help navigating. And if it might rain or snow during your recovery, get some sidewalk salt or sand to make paths less slippery.

Just a few steps like these can help make your recovery at home much easier.

Sources: Arthritis Foundation; American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Reviewed 9/15/2021

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