Jul 19, 2018 by Katie Fielmann
Between 700,000 and a million American seniors have hip or knee replacements every year. According to healthyaging.org, this number is just the tip of the iceberg and will grow dramatically over the next several decades. While these surgeries have an incredibly high success rate, there are some risks and consideration.
One of the most important considerations is where to spend the weeks and months after surgery since recovery from these surgeries takes time. Seniors with excellent support from friends and family often choose to recover at home. Seniors without this support often feel that they need to convalesce at a nursing home or skilled care facility. With Comfort Keepers in home care, however, an at-home recover for all seniors is a safe and viable option.
Regardless of who is providing the at-home assistance, there are a few things caregivers should consider, including:
Living Location. Climbing stairs is not going to be an option immediately after a knee or hip replacement. A "recovery room" should be arranged on the main floor of the home. If no bedrooms are located on this floor, a bed is often moved into the living room. Ensure that the bed is the right height to help with getting in and out of bed safely and comfortably. If bathrooms are not on this floor, a urinal or portable commode will suffice.
Plan for Comfort. Comfortable sheets, pillows, and blanket should be arranged beforehand. Ice packs and ice that can be bagged are also great ways to ease pain and reduce swelling. Check with the dietician to ensure foods that digest and pass easily while still maintaining necessary nutrition are on hand.
Medication Management. Pain medication must be taken as prescribed and must not conflict with other medications the senior may be on. Have a plan to ensure medications are taken when and how they are prescribed.
Wound Care. Wounds will need to be checked, dressings changed, and ointments applied. Most times a senior will not be able to do this themselves, especially with a hip replacement.
Household Tasks. Who will water the plants, clean the home, cook the meals, run errands, do the laundry, change the linens, and so forth. Having a plan will help alleviate the stress that comes from scrambling later.
Local Transportation. Most times, seniors will not be driving to and from their own medical and therapy appointments, especially in the first few weeks after surgery. Arranging transportation is a huge step in preparing for proper in home care.
Recovering from a knee or hip replacement is a team effort. Seniors with the proper support can get the extra benefits that are found in an at-home recovery. For more information on the many ways Comfort Keepers can help your senior loved one, contact an in home care coordinator today.
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