Whether it’s your spouse, a parent, close friend, or someone else in your life, when someone you care about has major surgery, you may need to step into the role of caretaker. That’s far easier to do when you carefully think through what’s going to be necessary in the aftermath of the procedure.
Knee replacement surgery is a fairly common procedure with a high satisfaction rate. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to recover from it, and having help from a caretaker can make all the difference. The experts at Dr. Keppler and Associates want to help you create a recovery plan that works, so we’ve put together this list of tips for people who want to help loved ones following a knee replacement procedure.
1. Get the house ready
The first few days are the most difficult, and it’s important for your patient to have the things they need near at hand. If you need to, prepare a place for them to stay on the ground floor, near a bathroom if possible. If they can’t be near a bathroom, consider having a bedside toilet or urinal for them.
You want to make sure that the area is free of tripping hazards such as rugs or electrical cords. You may even consider installing fixtures such as handrails, grab bars in the bathroom, or an easy entry shower.
2. Make sure there’s food on hand
Even if you plan to cook your loved one’s meals after the surgery, you may want to make sure you have a few things in the freezer for those days when time is just short.
You should also plan to take over the shopping for a time, as well. It may be helpful to work out a menu with your patient, so that you know you have appealing food for them as they recover.
3. Figure out the medication
Depending on your patient’s situation, dealing with medication can be complex. You should familiarize yourself with their medications prior to the procedure, and make sure refills are available if necessary.
Following the surgery, your patient will likely need help in organizing and taking their medication. You may want to keep a list of medications and instructions for taking them to keep track of everything.
4. Know that some days will be difficult
Recovering from major surgery is not easy. Your patient is likely to be tired and cranky sometimes, or frustrated and sad. Limitations on mobility, pain, and fear are all powerful psychological forces that affect people who are recovering from joint replacement.
Anticipating these difficulties and providing support is a more important part of being a caregiver than you may realize.
If you have a loved one who is having knee replacement surgery and you need assistance in planning to take care of them, we’re happy to offer guidance and advice. Schedule a consultation at Dr. Keppler and Associates, and we’ll answer your questions.