Far too many urgent care or emergency room visits occur after a patient is discharged from surgery and suffers a bad fall at home. This can due to unsteadiness from pain medication, nausea, weakness or simply trying to do too much too soon. While we can’t always prevent slip and fall injuries during your recovery, there are several things you can do to prepare your home to create a safer and more accessible environment.
Whether it is back surgery, knee replacement or an abdominal operation, you’ll need to get both your body and your home ready for your post-operative period. The things you can do easily before surgery (like reach down and pick up the newspaper, get dressed or even pour your morning coffee) may be more difficult or even impossible to do when you get home from your operation. Try to think ahead about your limited mobility and weakness. What can you do to facilitate optimal healing while minimizing the risk for falls or other injuries.
How to Get Your Home Ready for Your Surgery
These simple preparations in your home can lessen your risk for an unexpected urgent care visit during recovery:
- Eliminate stairs and make everything easy to get to on the same floor, including the bathroom
- Lower your bed so that your feet reach the floor when sitting at the edge
- Stock up on frozen food/canned foods as well as personal hygiene items
- Make sure you can reach everything at waist level that you need without the need to reach high up or bend down low.
- Don’t be afraid to use a fanny pack to store needed items such as your cell phone
- Consider purchasing items such as a walker or cane, shower sponge with a long handle, a “reacher” to pick up things, a handlebar in the bathroom, skid free bath mats and a shoe horn to help you put on your shoes easier.
- Keep tripping hazards out of your home by removing loose cords, using night lights/lamps and containing small pets that may cause you to fall.
- Don’t be stubborn when it comes to asking for help. This may include having a family member, friend or hired caregiver to stay with you around the clock until you are more stable.
The manner in which you prepare your living environment for surgery can profoundly impact your recovery experience. In many cases, a sudden fall can set back your healing time significantly and even lead to complications. At Clear Immediate Care, we are proud to offer urgent care services for any concerns that arise during your post-operative period, but we also want to help you avoid falls and unnecessary strain when possible. Call our clinic today.