The most dangerous room in the house after surgery is the bathroom, because it is the origin of many surgical complications. Safety can be a major concern for bathroom transfers, especially after a total joint replacement. There are many ways to increase independence and safety with shower and toilet transfers in your home. However, in most cases, to gain independence faster it requires foresight and knowing what your limitations will be. In my experience, here are a few things to consider and a few “do NOTs” that can help make the most dangerous room in your house safer!
- Installing a toilet riser to increase the height of your toilet
- Obtaining a shower chair or tub bench
- Taking off tub doors, install a shower curtain to allow for safer transfers in/out of the tub
- Consider obtaining a toilet safety frame or getting a commode to put over the toilet if you don’t have a solid surface to push off of by your toilet
- Obtaining equipment prior to surgery to try it out
- Ask friends and family if they have any equipment you can borrow
- Use the walls to push off
- Grab the doorknob to help pull up from the toilet
- Use anything that is not solid to help pull or push up from the toilet or shower chair
- Take a shower when you are exhausted – and plan to rest afterward!
Following total joint replacement surgery, your occupational therapist can also assist you in making recommendations for best transfer methods and equipment choices. Safety is our top priority!