Tips and Guides

Help at Home following surgery

by Jo Dufton on 3 July 2018 09:49am : 480

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Post Surgery Care

Our latest guest blog is a Q&A with local Occupational Therapist, Jo Dufton.

Here Jo answers questions about returning home after a hip operation.

Surgery to replace a damaged joint offers you the opportunity to regain function that has been lost and to return to daily activities with increased ease and comfort.  However, the 4-6-week recovery period will require changes in the way you carry out daily activities as function will be compromised during this stage.

Do I need to make any changes or adaptations to my home?
Occupational Therapists will advise you of any changes that would be beneficial to ensure ways of moving safely around your home during recovery and they can provide ingenious equipment to help with activities such as bathing, cooking and dressing.

How will the Occupational Therapist help me?
During hospitalisation the Occupational Therapist will advise:

  • The proper seating positions
  • Safe techniques for transferring from a walking aid to a chair, bed or a bath seat
  • Educate your family, carer or Home Helper about your surgical hip precautions and the best way to help you
  • Provide you with equipment for dressing such as a dressing stick or helping hand reacher to pull on underwear or trousers without bending from the waist

What are your top tips on completing household tasks easily and safely?

  • Carry hot liquids in covered containers
  • Slide objects along a kitchen counter rather than lifting
  • Sit on a high stool when working at the kitchen counter
  • Use a ‘helping hand reacher’ to pick up objects from the floor
  • Use a basket or bag attached to your mobility frame to free your hands
  • Remove rugs to prevent tripping
  • Ask for help. Don’t push yourself before you are ready; get help with practical tasks in the early stages of your recovery.

What advice would you give to help me maintain a positive outlook to my recovery?

  • Listen to the advice from the therapists working with you and do your exercises!
  • Adapt or modify as many tasks as possible to increase your involvement and keep you busy
  • Sit in a comfortable chair with a good view so that you don’t get bored
  • Set yourself a daily challenge, however small it is
  • Plan social events later in your recovery so that you have things to look forward to
  • Arrange for people to visit; companionship can be invaluable in maintaining a positive outlook

Will I need an extra pair of hands to help me around the home?

  • List the things that you think or have been told you will need help with
  • Decide what is vital and what is luxury and if you really need it during this time
  • Make sure you have support from family or a Home Helper to assist with errands and practical tasks
  • Make sure the support is regular and you know when it is coming in to your home so that you are not tempted to do the task yourself and put yourself at risk

When can I get back to my normal activities?

You can resume normal activities when you have seen your consultant and they have given you the green light that all is OK -usually 3 months after the operation.

Jo Dufton
Independent occupational therapist
Tel: 07513 831 526 / ot@jodufton.com

If you need some extra help whilst recovering from surgery then register now to find a Home Helper in your area.


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