April 15, 2012

How to Help a Loved One Who Has Had a Hip Replacement

How to Help a Loved One Who Has Had a Hip Replacement

Hip replacement, a form of major surgery, can take several months to recover from. A friend or loved one that goes through this surgery is going to need a lot of care during recovery. Although the assistance of someone who has a nursing degree would be beneficial, it is not necessary. Here are some tips you can use to nurse your loved one back to health yourself:

  • Prepare Your Home – To ensure recovery, prepare your home so that your loved one has a safe place to reside in. A place to sleep, use the bathroom and access to food should all be within a safe walking distance without any stairs. Your loved one will likely be using crutches or a walker, so make sure there is nothing obstructing their path as well.
  • Talk to the Doctor – Since you’ll be helping with your loved one’s healthcare, it’s important to remain on the same page with their doctor. Talk to the doctor about the recovery process, their medications, nurse visits, bandaging, and the patient’s physical limits. Your loved one will likely be tired and forgetful after their surgery, so make sure you know what they need medically.
  • Keep Up with Exercises – Make sure your loved one is doing recommended exercises or physical therapy. This reduces the risk of blood clots and helps them recover quickly.
  • Follow Up – Make sure your loved one is going to follow-up appointments with their doctor. Recovering patients are unable to drive, so you may have to transport them as well.
  • Remain Vigilant – Pain medication after any surgery can cause grogginess. Consider staying with your loved one during this time so you can keep a closer eye on them.
  • Keep Them Entertained – Your loved one is going to remain relatively immobile for quite awhile, so it’s a good idea to provide as many books, movies, games, and other forms of entertainment to pass the time more easily. It’s also more fun to do things together.
  • Be Patient – Surgery can be taxing both emotionally and physically. Try to keep a positive attitude for both you and your loved one and things will become much easier. Be compassionate and patient for you loved one during this difficult time.

It’s important to realize that this is a serious commitment, and not to be taken lightly. The recovery process takes a lot of time and you’ll be helping your loved one with many mundane tasks. If you find you can’t manage the responsibly, try to find someone who can. If you’re considering learning more or even getting a degree in nursing, you can check out this guide to healthcare schools here.


eHow (2012)

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