· Bathroom Activities: There will definitely have to be arrangements made in the bathroom, including a raised toilet seat. Activities like baths and showers will be off limits for a few weeks. Caregivers may have to help with sponge bath duties.
Keep an Eye Out for Post-Surgery Complications
Caregivers must be aware about possible complications that can arise. Hip replacements have a good track record for success, and the risk of complications following surgery is relatively low.
Joint infection occurs in less than 2 percent of people who have the surgery. It’s important for people recovering from hip replacement to take antibiotics if they schedule a dental appointment shortly after surgery.
Blood clots are more common complications and can be deadly if they spread to the brain, heart or lungs. Caregivers need to be aware of the signs of blood clots. Some of the symptoms include:
· Swelling that does not decrease
· Skin that is warm to the touch
· Shortness of breath
· Chest pain
· Enlargement of veins near skin surface
The surgeon may prescribe a blood thinner to prevent blood clots.
Some hip implants have been shown to cause injury and complications. Information about the ones to avoid can be found on our website: http://www.drugwatch.com
Caretakers should know what to watch for and be aware that defective implants are a possibility.
Understand the Importance of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy begins just days after surgery and intensifies as time goes on. The purpose of therapy is to strengthen the patient’s hip joint and regain movement.
Therapy can last for months. The physical therapist will create a workout routine for the patient. As time goes on and the patient begins to regain range of motion, activities will elevate from simple walking and graduate to normal household activities. The recovery process can become painful and sometimes hard on the patient.
Caregivers can play an important role as cheerleader.
After time passes, people with hip replacements can participate in activities such as walking, swimming, dancing and golf. Those activities are great stress relievers that people can participate in with partners. Having activities the patient and caretaker can do together can lighten up the healing process and provide both people some much-needed fun.
Caretakers Need to Take Care of Themselves
Caretakers not only have to make sure the patient is OK, but they have to take care of themselves.
There is a lot to do when caring for someone recovering from hip replacement surgery. It can become stressful and overwhelming. It is important for the caretaker to have some time off.
One thing to keep in mind is having a social network of family members, friends or church members who may be able to step in and give a ride or help with chores to take some of the responsibility off the caretaker’s shoulders.
Being prepared and knowing what to expect will alleviate some of the stresses involved in the caretaking process."
Julian Hills, staff writer for Drugwatch.com