Smart Ways To Support Recuperation After A Hip Replacement
Everyone wants to be supportive of friends or loved ones during their recuperation after a surgical procedure. We have tips provided by hip replacement patients to help you provide valuable assistance that will make recovery easier and more comfortable for the people you love.
Hip replacement surgery is becoming more common among patients with chronic hip pain; recovery times vary from a few days to a few months, depending on the surgical approach used. If you are looking for ways to support a friend as he or she recovers after surgery, we can help you with tips we’ve gathered from those who’ve been through a hip replacement procedure.
Everyone responds differently to medical stress. Some people love to be coddled; others prefer quiet solitude during recuperation. Advances in surgical procedures have improved recovery times, but a hip replacement is still a major surgery that places postsurgical restrictions on the patient. This temporary disability can leave a patient frustrated, exhausted, embarrassed, or lonely. Our firsthand tips from people who’ve undergone hip replacements, plus your personal knowledge of the patient, can help ease the recovery process.
- Do understand the postsurgical restrictions. There will be hip precautions that prohibit patients from bending. They may need a walker. Offer to help by lifting and carrying objects, sweeping the kitchen floor, or doing laundry. After surgery, many patients struggle to put on their TED compression socks every morning. If you are available, volunteer to assist.
- Do call ahead so your friend knows when to expect you; and respect wishes if your friend just isn’t up for a visit.
- Do offer to help with groceries. Providing meals can be a wonderful way to help a friend through recovery. Small, easy-to-reheat portions that keep well are best.
- Do consider your friend’s pets. Offer to take the cat for a few days, or stop by to walk the dog.
- Do offer to help with transportation. Suggest driving your friend to medical appointments or make a grocery run.
- Do be on the lookout for recuperation tools that may have been overlooked. Can you spare a small table to add to bedside real estate? How about running to the pharmacy for a shower transfer bench or toilet riser?
- Do be aware of safety concerns. Some patients are under restrictions about showering alone. Especially if your friend lives alone, you could offer to be available to stand outside the bathroom door for 30 minutes so he or she can bathe safely with help at hand if necessary.
- Do listen. Your friend may be dealing with pain, frustration, and physical or emotional exhaustion. Be there to let the patient vent, and be alert for any practical remedies that might solve a problem they are describing.
- Do think before sending gifts. Flowers and food baskets are a lovely gesture, but these heavy awkward items can be difficult and dangerous for recovering patients to carry, especially if they are using a walker.
We all appreciate thoughtfulness. We hope that these insights will raise awareness about the specific challenges of hip replacement recuperation, and help you to smooth the road to recovery for the people you love.