An Occupational Therapist Can Help You Recover At Home From Hip Surgery

If you're planning to undergo surgery for a total hip replacement, your recovery phase will last much longer than your hospitalization. Patients are typically moved out of the hospital as quickly as possible, so that means you'll recover in a rehab nursing home or at your own home. Whether you have a short stay in rehab or go straight home, your home has to be ready for your special needs during recovery. An occupational therapist, or OT, helps by doing a home evaluation. Here are some changes you may need to make around your home.

Remove All Tripping Hazards

You certainly don't want to fall after your surgery and your balance may be a little wobbly for a while. The therapist may recommend you remove all throw rugs and extension cords from the floor and fix uneven areas on the floor so they don't catch your shoe when you walk. Buy night lights for your bedroom and bathroom so they are always illuminated enough to see to turn on a lamp or light. Install bright bulbs in your lamps and overhead lights so you can see clearly when there is something on the floor that could make you trip.

Store Everything At Waist Level

You won't be able to bend over right away. Buy a reacher so you can pick things off the floor without having to bend over. Attach a basket to your walker so you can keep things like the remote and your cell phone by your side and easy to reach without knocking them onto the floor. You may also need to move food and cooking equipment from the top and lower shelves to those in the middle so you don't have to bend. Your occupational therapist will teach you how to go about your daily activities without bending until your doctor says it's okay.

Learn How To Transfer

You'll also need to transfer yourself on and off the toilet and in and out of bed. This requires positioning your bed at the right height so your feet are flat on the floor when you sit on the side. You may transfer to a chair, your walker, or a wheelchair, but you must learn to do so carefully so you don't fall. Getting in and out of the tub and on and off the toilet will be difficult at first. The therapist may recommend a higher toilet seat so you don't have to bend as far to sit down. Grab bars offer support so you stay steady as you step over the bathtub.

An occupational therapist is a big help when you need to recover at home after hip surgery. The therapist doesn't help with your physical recovery as that is the job of a physical therapist. Instead, an OT ensures your home is as safe as possible and that you know how to transfer and care for yourself with limited mobility. For more information, contact companies like Lake Centre For Rehab.