5 Caregiver Tips For Joint Replacement Patients
Discover 5 helpful caregiver tips When caring for Joint replacement patients
When a family member chooses to have a joint replacement—hip, knee, or shoulder—their life is about to change for the better. It’s usually a decision they’ve reached after months, if not years, of suffering. However, there is a time of recovery before they return to normal. Depending on the individual and the joint replacement, they may require assistance from friends and family members, assuming they are fortunate enough to have loved ones nearby.
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“The patients who have the best outcomes following a joint replacement are the ones who have planned ahead of time, read all of the information, and shared it with friends and family—or whoever will be assisting Joint replacement patients”
Caregiver tips for Joint replacement patients
The five tips below are for caregivers of patients undergoing joint replacements:
- Make sure you finish your homework. Patients and caregivers should both be aware of what to expect before, during, and after the surgery. George offers a workshop at Henry Ford on how to prepare for joint replacement surgery and encourages caregivers to attend. Caregivers will also receive home reading materials. George recommends websites like the American Academy of Hip and Knee Surgeons for internet research, but warns against using untrustworthy sources.
- Make sure there are no safety dangers in the house that could cause a fall. Before your loved one travels to the hospital, assist them in creating a secure environment to return to. Clean cluttered floors, dry wet floors, and level uneven surfaces, or devise a strategy to avoid them altogether. (Even tripping hazards such as unsecured electrical cords and throw rugs should be moved out of the way.) Set up a bed on the first floor if their bedroom is upstairs so they don’t have to walk up and down stairs for the first few days after surgery.
- Become a cheerleader. “Not everyone will require a babysitter, but the majority of joint replacement patients will require a cheerleader,” George says. “Having someone who has your back—someone who says you can get through this—is especially helpful in the first week after surgery.” Of course, if you’ve had a joint replacement with us, the home care nurse and therapist who will visit your home for two weeks will be a huge help.”
- Assist with day-to-day activities. Any assistance counts, whether it’s stocking the fridge and preparing meals, assisting them in getting out of bed, putting their socks and shoes on, attending physical therapy, or taking them to doctor’s visits. “It’s especially difficult to undergo a shoulder replacement because you only have one arm for a while and aren’t supposed to lift anything heavier than a coffee cup,” George explains. “And most people will agree that the most difficult days after a knee or hip replacement are between three and six—so whatever you can do to make your loved one’s life easier will be greatly appreciated.”
- Assist with pain control, edema, and incision cleansing. Following surgery, joint replacement patients will be given instructions on how much pain medicine to take and when to take it, as well as how to clean and dress the wound and deal with swelling. Encourage them to speak with their care team if they have any questions or concerns, and assist them in following these directions.
“Everyone recovers in their own way,” George explains. “Some people are up and running following surgery in a few weeks, while others take longer. It will go a long way if you ask how you can assist and support them.”
Post references: https://www.henryford.com/blog/2021/11/joint-replacement-caregiver-tips