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Preparing your home for your needs after surgery

  • Use the following guidelines to help prepare your home for your recovery. Check each item box as you complete that item. Also reference the home and equipment worksheet for additional ideas to ready your home and to get ideas for equipment you might need after surgery.

    Outside your home

    • Move items you use a lot in the garage or workshop to tabletop-height surfaces or to middle shelves.
    • Check stair railings to make sure they are secure. If you are adding a railing, extend it a few inches past the end of the staircase. It is best if all stairs have railings.
    • Be aware of uneven ground around your home and in your yard.
    • Be sure your driveway and walking paths are uncluttered.
    • Find someone to do your yard work.

    Inside your home

    • Have clear pathways and remove clutter around your home.
    • Make a walking path that a walking aid such as a walker will fit through your home.
    • Pick up all throw rugs in your walking or standing path. Consider using double-face tape to secure carpet edges.
    • Check stair railings to make sure they are secure. If you are adding a railing, extend it a few inches past the end of the staircase. It is best if all stairs have railings.
    • Consider first floor options (temporary) if your bathroom is not on the main floor. Do you have access to a portable commode?
    • Make your phone accessible to your main sitting area and bed. Cordless phones or cell phones are helpful. Carry a cordless phone or cell phone when you are home alone in case of an emergency.
    • Arrange to have your paper and mail delivered to your door rather than curbside as needed.
    • Arrange transportation to the grocery store, community events, family activities, and doctor and therapy appointments.
    • Find someone to help care for your pet if needed.

    Living room

    • Move low-height tables away from the couch and chairs.
    • Pick out a chair to sit in when you come home.
      • A good chair is firm with arms.
      • The chair should be tall enough that your hips are level with or higher than your knees. Your feet should touch the ground.
      • You can increase the chair height with extra cushion or furniture risers.

      Kitchen

      • Move items you use a lot in the kitchen to tabletop-height surfaces or to middle shelves.
      • Use a kitchen cart to move heavy or hot items.
      • Prepare and freeze a few meals before your surgery.

      Bedroom

      • Move items you use a lot to tabletop-height surfaces or to middle shelves.
      • Place a lamp close to the bed where it is easy to reach.
      • Plug in a night light. Some night lights turn on by themselves after dark.

      Bathroom

      • You may need a raised toilet seat or commode.
      • Move items you use a lot in the bathroom to tabletop-height surfaces or to middle shelves.
      • Consider putting grab bars in the bathtub, shower or both. Also consider other key areas for grab bars such as by the toilet. (Grab bars should be installed into wall studs to ensure they are secure.)
      • Have access to a shower, tub transfer bench or both for bathing.
      • Apply adhesive slip strips or a bath mat to the tub or shower floor.
      • Consider a hand-held shower head.
      • Consider using a soap dispenser with liquid soap in the bathtub or shower rather than using hand-held soap. Otherwise, placeĀ a bar of soap in a nylon stocking and tie it to a soap dish.