For many people, the first few days at home after a total knee replacement are the most difficult as it’s likely they’re tired and in pain. They may be frustrated or scared because it’s difficult for them to get around and do things on their own, that’s why it’s important to be patient with your loved one as you adapt to your new role.
Here are 5 things you can do to help make they’re recovery easier:
Prepare your home ahead of time: set up a recovery room on the first floor, this room must have a bed that isn’t too high or low off the ground, pillows for elevating the lower leg, a walker or crutches, comfortable shoes that are safe for walking around the house in, among other things.
Help with medications and wound care: you may need to help gather the medications and make sure they take them on schedule. You may also help changing dressings and picking up medical supplies, like bandages, as needed. Remember to wash your hands carefully before and after touching bandages.
Help with medical appointments: the person you’re caring for will likely be unable to drive for the first 4 to 6 weeks following surgery, and they will need someone to drive them to their appointments. Missing an appointment may lead to setbacks or other complications, so it’s important to take note of their follow-up visits and plan accordingly.
Take on household chores: this goes without saying, but the first few weeks after surgery the person you’re caring for will likely be unable to do anything that involves standing for long periods of time, stretching, or bending. So you will need to help them with household chores, preparing meals, or performing other tasks that require moving from room to room.
Provide emotional support: Poor mobility may impact your loved one’s attitude and sense of self-worth, they may feel frustrated or impatient with the pain or a perceived lack of progress. You can help your friend or family member speed up the recovery process, stay on track, and do the work needed for a full recovery by providing ongoing support and encouragement throughout the process.