There are certain things you’ll want to do to prepare your home before your joint replacement surgery.  This will make it easier for you once you return home post-operatively.  Prepare the house so as to minimize the need for stooping, reaching, and stair climbing.  Plan on getting around, but relatively slowly initially.

Bathroom

Depending on your baseline strength, you may need an elevated toilet seat.  If you use a tub shower with a door, you may need to have the door removed.  Grab bars are an optional item.  You may need a raised or adjustable tub bench for use in the tub.  Practice with your equipment prior to surgery.

Bedroom

Place your bedroom on the first level of your home if possible to avoid having to navigate stairs initially.  Raise your bed to increase height if the bed is too low to the flow (place blocks or books under the legs).  Place your bed so that transfers can be made in and out with ease.  Place your pillow at the end of the bed so that when you sit at the side of the bed, the pillow is on the opposite side of your injured hip.  Practice transfers in and out of bed utilizing a “log rolling” technique to ease stress on your hip.  You should not use a waterbed post surgery.  Rearrange items in your drawers and closets to higher levels.  You will not be comfortable being down low right after hip replacement surgery.

Kitchen

You may want to freeze some meals ahead of time or purchase microwave food that can be easily prepared when you get home.  Place your most frequently used pots and pans to a higher level to prevent you from excess stooping.

Around the House

Remove throw rugs to prevent tripping.  Be especially careful if you have cats and dogs, since they tend to be “underfoot.”  You will benefit from a chair with arms (similar to a captain’s chair) or an elevated recliner.  Try to avoid use of a low sofa or low chair.  You may want to gather frequently used items and place them in a convenient accessible location.

Arrange for Help

You should arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and have someone stay with you for one to two weeks following surgery to help care for you.