The decision to undergo total joint surgery brings with it many challenges. As a patient, this comes with decisions regarding pain management, post-operative limitations that must be addressed, and seeking out assistance in the form of a caregiver. Nearly all of us at some point in time will be required to take on a caregiving role for a family member or loved one. Total joint surgery is a lot to take on for the one having surgery, but also for you as the caregiver. As the caregiver, you want to provide the best care for your loved one. Here are some ideas on how to take care of yourself during this important time period.
1. Educate Yourself
At OrthoNebraska, we try to err on the side of overpreparing you for surgery. Patients will receive a lot of good information about surgery, home preparations and expectations after surgery. As the caregiver, you will also benefit from this information. Read any paper materials, visit the surgery preparation link with “how to” videos that is sent and ask questions if you have concerns. This will help you better understand how surgery will go from start to finish.
2. Talk to Others
Ask friends and family if they have had a similar procedure done, with questions like:
- What worked and what did not?
- Do they have any equipment you can borrow?
- Do they have any tips that will help make you and your loved one’s experience smoother after surgery?
3. Prepare Ahead
What can be done ahead of time to make the discharge home go smoothly?
- Make meals ahead of time that can be easily re-heated
- Catch up on laundry and cleaning
- Do any yardwork that can be done prior.
- Purchasing equipment and setting this equipment up prior to surgery will help alleviate some stress after surgery.
Having these things done allows one to focus on helping the patient heal and not worry about getting all those “other” things done.
4. Take Care of You
Make sure to take time out for you. See if you have anyone that can come by to help out with any household chores or tasks. Give yourself time for a walk or go out to lunch with a friend. Make some time for yourself to recharge.
5. Remember the End Results
Heading home from the hospital can feel like a lot at first. Continue to look at what is to come ahead. Before you know it, you both will be getting back to all those things you both have been wanting to do.
These few easy points can help you, the caregiver, provide the most amazing care at home. Getting you both closer to all those activities that you enjoy doing together.