Planning for Your Return Home
It is important to begin planning for your return home before your surgical procedure. Find out from family and friends how they will be able to assist you. Arrange for transportation home from the Hospital. After your surgery, a team composed of a nurse case manager and social worker will continue to work with you, your surgeon and other members of the health care team to assist in planning for your discharge.
Goals to achieve prior to returning home include:
- Getting in and out of bed safely by yourself.
- Walking 100 to 150 feet with your crutches or a walker.
- Walking up and down stairs with crutches if you have stairs.
- Completing self-care tasks (dressing, bathing, toileting, simple meal preparation) independently or with minimal assistance of another.
All patients need help with shopping, cooking, laundry and other everyday activities when they first return home.
The rehabilitation staff will help you plan for any equipment you may need at home such as:
- Bedside commode
- Raised toilet seat
- Shower bench
- Long handled sponge and shower hose
- Safety bars/hand rails
This equipment is not always covered by your insurance.
Home Safety Checklist
The Occupational Therapy Department has compiled the checklist below to help you prepare your home for your recovery. We encourage you to review this list with family and friends and make any needed changes BEFORE your surgery. These recommendations can help you safely manage at home during your recovery period.
- Remove all loose rugs and electrical cords from areas where you walk in your home, as they can easily become caught under walkers/crutches.
- Make sure carpet edges are tacked down to reduce potential falls.
- Be sure all walking areas are free of clutter.
You will need a stable chair with a firm back and seat cushion that allows your knees to be lower than your hips when sitting during the day. Seat height can be built up with a firm pillow or folded linens. A chair with arms is recommended.
- Also make sure that your bed height is 18 inches or more, in order to keep your hips above your knees when you sit on the edge. Inexpensive bed risers can be placed under bed legs.
- Place a lamp or light switch within reach from your bed.
- Place needed items in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and living areas within easy reach (not too high, and not too low).
- Keep a cordless phone or cell phone with you during the day.
- Place rubber mats or non-slip decals in the tub/shower.
- If you have equipment, such as a commode or tub seat, take it out before your surgery to make sure it is in good working order.
- Consider having grab bars installed in the tub/shower wall and near the toilet to optimize safety when toileting or bathing.
- A hand-held showerhead can be helpful when sitting on a tub seat to shower.
- Put nightlights in your bathroom and n the hallway leading from your bedroom to bathroom.
- Ensure that stair handrails are securely fastened and extend the full length of the stairs.
- Be sure that outdoor walkways, steps and porches are free of rocks, loose boards and other tripping hazards.
Feel free to contact the Occupational Therapy Department at 617-243-6172 if you have questions about these recommendations.
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