What you can do to help
Recovering from complete knee replacement surgery can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the support of friends and family.
The first few days at home post surgery are the hardest for many people. It’s likely that the person you’re caring for is exhausted and in pain. They may be annoyed or afraid since getting around and doing things on their own is difficult for them.
This is when you need post surgical care the most. As you adjust to your new job, it’s crucial to be patient with your loved one. Here are ten things you can do to make the shift go as smoothly as possible.
Begin with the fundamentals.
A smooth recuperation can be aided by preparing the home ahead of time. On the first floor, you might choose to build up a rehabilitation area.
- Pillows to elevate the lower leg
- A bedside commode or urinal if the bathroom isn’t accessible
- Bed that isn’t too high or low off the ground
- Ice packs for the knee
- A phone, or cellphone and a charger, to call for help
- Easily accessible, identifiable, and neatly arranged medications
- A walker or crutches
- Writing materials to take notes or list questions for the healthcare team
Make sure you have enough food, and those useful goods are within easy reach. Remove any items that could trigger a fall from the floor.
For the person you’re caring for, standing, sitting, and moving from room to room may be tough. You might have to assist them in getting around and completing daily duties. This could be assisting with meal preparation or personal hygiene.
Assist with medication administration and wound care
It’s critical that the person takes all prescriptions as directed by their doctor.
Meet with the person’s doctor if feasible before beginning outpatient care. They can go over their pharmaceutical needs with you and answer any questions you might have.
In addition, keep an eye on the wound for swelling and irritation. Changing dressings and bringing up medical supplies, such as bandages, may be required. Seek medical attention if the wound becomes redder, larger, drains, or has an odor. Before and after touching bandages, wash your hands thoroughly.
Make it a habit to give medications and perform wound inspections at the same times each day.
Assume home responsibilities
The person you’re caring for will most likely be unable to accomplish anything that requires long periods of standing, stretching, or bending in the coming weeks.
They may find it difficult to complete household duties, prepare meals, or accomplish other tasks that need them to go from one area to another.
They may be able to undertake light cleaning such as dusting, but they will not be able to do any major cleaning. Vacuuming and doing the laundry are usually out of the question. If possible, take on some of these responsibilities yourself or hire someone to assist you.
For a period, you could be asked to help with grocery shopping and food preparation. Prepare frozen meals ahead of time and invite friends or family members to provide meals during the first few weeks of recovery.
It’s critical that your loved one eats nutritional foods following surgery, takes recommended medications, and gets plenty of rest.
Assisting with appointments
Keeping a calendar can assist you in keeping track of the person’s daily needs as well as keeping track of their appointments.
Missing an appointment can result in setbacks or other difficulties, so keep track of their follow-up appointments and make plans appropriately. Transportation is included in this.
For the first 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, the person you’re caring for will most likely be unable to drive. This means they’ll require transportation to their appointments.
Do not hesitate to contact the healthcare team if any difficulties emerge between appointments.
- Drugs and odd reactions to them
- Increased temperature
- Growing pain
- Swelling or discharge from the wound
- Episodes of shortness of breath or chest pain
Encourage rehabilitation and exercise.
The importance of sticking to a treatment program cannot be overstated. For many people, this is going for a 30-minute walk two or three times a day. Doctors may also advise adding 20 to 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine two or three times a day.
Walking or exercise may be painful for the person. This is very normal. If they express a desire to stop their rehabilitation program, reassure them that their feelings are normal and that therapy will help them recover faster.
Keeping them motivated by assisting them in tracking their efforts, results, and growth. Walking and exercising alongside them might also help them stay on track.
It can be beneficial to learn more about the complete knee replacement healing process.
Make a list of questions to ask medical personnel.
After surgery and during rehabilitation, it’s usual to have questions. Use an old-fashioned pen and paper pad or use a note-taking app to jot down questions as they come.
You may also discover that you have your own concerns about how to effectively provide care. It will be easier for you to remember to communicate your questions and concerns with the care team if you write them down.
Keep an eye out for changes.
It’s highly likely that the person you’re caring for is completely focused on getting better. As a result, an outside viewpoint may be extremely beneficial.
It’s critical to consult a medical expert if you observe any substantial changes in their physical or mental condition.
Any difficulties following the surgery, changes in the wound, or drug adverse effects may require immediate attention by a healthcare professional.
Stay on top of paperwork
Knee replacement is a complicated process that necessitates the assistance of several professionals. As a result, over the course of several weeks, a rush of bills and reports will arrive from various suppliers and locations.
It’s possible that dealing with the physical recuperation process is already difficult. Getting behind on paperwork and bills can exacerbate the stress. Take the lead on any actionable notices from the care team if you can. Keeping track of papers can allow the person you’re caring for concentrate on their recovery.
File everything in an accordion folder or use a huge binder with tabs for each sort of correspondence to keep things organized.
Offer emotional assistance
Although a knee replacement is physically demanding, healing and rehab also have a mental component.
The discomfort or a perceived lack of development may make the person you’re care for frustrated or impatient. Their attitude and sense of self-worth may be affected by their lack of mobility. Some people may feel depression after surgery.
You may help your friend or family member speed up their treatment, stay on track, and perform the work required for a full recovery by offering continual support and encouragement.
People can take out their frustrations on their caregivers at times. Clear communication, attempting to communicate feelings without blaming one another, and listening to one another can all assist to lessen the likelihood of wounded feelings.
Look for yourself.
It can be tough to look after someone else if you aren’t looking after yourself. Take pauses and do something you enjoy, such as hobbies, visiting friends, or setting aside time for yourself.
To reduce stress, go for a stroll, read a book, or meditate on a regular basis. If you’re feeling overworked or overwhelmed, don’t be hesitant to ask for help from other friends or family members.
Preparation is key to successfully caring for someone who has undergone knee replacement surgery.
At first, the person you’re caring for will most likely require daily care from you or someone else, but after a few weeks, they will require less and less support. Returning to normal activities can take up to three months and regaining normal knee strength can take up to six months.
Live In Home Care for someone else can be difficult. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and make sure you take time to care for yourself to properly care for yourself and them.