Almost everyone is excited about going home after having surgery or being ill in the hospital.
Set up your home to make your life is easier and safer when you return. This helps ensure that your recovery will be complete and fast. Ask your doctor, nurses, or physical therapist about getting your home ready for your return.
If your surgery is planned, prepare your home in advance. If your hospital stay was unplanned, have family or friends prepare your home for you. You may not need all of the changes listed below. But read carefully for some good ideas on how you can remain safe and healthy in your home.
Make sure everything you need is easy to get to and on the same floor where you will spend most of your time. If you need to use the stairs, limit using them to once a day, if possible.
Place a chair with a firm back in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and other rooms you will use. This way, you can sit when you do your daily tasks.
If you will be using a walker, attach a sturdy bag or a small basket to hold your phone, a notepad, a pen, and other things you will need to have close by. You can also wear fanny pack.
You may need help with bathing, using the toilet, cooking, running errands, shopping, going to the doctor, and exercising.
If you do not have someone to help you at home for the first 1 or 2 weeks after surgery, ask your doctor or nurse about having a trained caregiver come to your home to help you. This person can also check the safety of your home and help you with your daily activities.
Some items that may be helpful include:
Raising the toilet seat height may make things easier for you. You can do this by adding an elevated seat to your toilet. You can also use a commode chair instead of a toilet.
You may need to have safety bars, or grab bars, in your bathroom:
You can make several changes to protect yourself when you take a bath or shower:
Sit on a bath or shower chair when taking a shower:
Keep tripping hazards out of your home.
Pets that are small or move around your walk space may cause you to trip. For the first few weeks you are home, consider having your pet stay elsewhere, such as with a friend, in a kennel, or in the yard.
Do not carry anything when you are walking around. You need your hands to help you balance.
Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or a wheelchair while:
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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