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Preparing for hip surgery

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Aging Matters

By Carol Marak

Let me start by saying, these recommendations are not given by a professional. Instead, a patient who had hip surgery offers how she prepared. Weeks before the hospital stay, due to her single and alone status, she took these action steps. The home needs attention to ensure that a patient can maintain the necessary tasks of daily living.

The following should not replace the advice of your doctor and other medical professionals familiar with your case.  The physician’s office and hospital staff may have aftercare resources to help the patient with limits or no outside support. Resources:

• Facebook groups – “search” in Facebook for these closed groups. You will need to request to join

• Total Hip Replacement Forum – Look for the one that’s headed up by a professional physical therapist. This particular group admin and therapist had both hips replaced.  She is an outstanding resource.

• Nextdoor.com - a private social networking site for neighborhoods.  Connect with neighbors, and find information specific to a neighborhood.  Often, teenagers look for odd jobs during the summer break, and they might be a great source of help

• YouTube – search topics such as “preparing for hip surgery,” “hip surgery recovery” and “how to dress yourself after hip surgery” for ideas

• Rover.com - to locate people providing pet care services for a fee

• Go to https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/ - To have your mail held while you are away from home, and then resume upon return

For the home – get these before going to the hospital due to mobility issues:

• Clean the house, particularly kitchen and bathroom

• Do laundry (linens, towels, clothing

• Put clean linens on bed

• Pick up throw rugs and tack down loose carpeting

• Remove electrical cords and other obstructions from pathways

• Install night lights in bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways

• Place all items that you regularly use at or above waist level, as you will not be able to bend

• Transportation and delivery services – You will not be able to drive, due to pain medication and weakness in the leg – particularly if it is the right hip. (I was not released to drive until my four-week follow-up exam.) Schedule with UBER, LYFT or a taxi in advance.  Or have the hospital schedule a medical transport service. (Ask for a ride on your neighborhood Nextdoor.com.)

Next week’s column discusses post-surgery planning for food, assistive devices and more.

Carol Marak is an aging advocate and editor at Seniorcare.com. She’s earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.