Pinterest tag

Preparing your home for your needs after surgery

Use the following guidelines to help prepare your home for your recovery.

Outside your home

  • 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.
  • If you have extra low furniture, you can increase the chair height with extra cushions or furniture risers.
  • 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.
  • Do not carry or hold anything in your hands while using a walker or crutches.  Use pockets in an apron, walker basket, fanny pack or backpack.
  • Depending on your driveway and how well you are able to move, you may consider arranging 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

  • Ask someone to help you move heavy or hot items. You can also use a kitchen cart.
  • Prepare and freeze a few meals before your surgery.

Bedroom

  • 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 toilet safety frame.
  • 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 showering.
  • Apply adhesive slip strips or a bath mat to the tub or shower floor.
  • Consider a hand-held shower head.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Knee Replacement, seventh edition, ortho-ah-90140
First Published: 10/01/2000
Last Reviewed: 02/01/2020