Joint replacement surgery is a very common but demanding process. The recovery period is crucial to the overall success of the operation, and cannot be done properly without some assistance for the patient. If your loved one is undergoing a joint replacement, here are five tips to help you be the best caregiver!
1- Know your stuff: Be practical and be their advocate
The first and foremost way to help is to be aware of the practical details. Accompany your loved one to doctor’s appointments, keep track of information such as medications, and do some research about the surgery. By staying informed and up to date with general information as well as their specific case, you will be able to help them and advocate for them better.
Additionally, help with regular things like household chores, meal preparation, and personal hygiene for the duration of recovery is a valuable way to make your loved one’s life easier.
2- Safety first! A good healing environment is everything
During recovery patients have more limited mobility. This means they cannot climb stairs, reach for high objects, or travel as much as usual. Prepare a recovery room and make essential items accessible so that your loved one can be as autonomous as possible. This will also make your job easier, as everything will be organized and handy.
These types of preparations can be done during the pre-habilitation period. This allows the patient to be more involved and feel prepared for the recovery period.
3- Encouragement and motivation: Positive reinforcement goes a long way
Rehabilitation can be a difficult process, but your support plays an invaluable role. Encourage your loved one to perform their exercises by making sure information is organized and clear. Engage them further by doing the exercises with them or by finding ways to make it more fun, such as keeping track of improvements.
4- You are important: Don’t forget to care for yourself, too!
Giving a lot of attention and care can be taxing, so it’s important to maintain self-care. If you forget to take care of yourself you might not have the energy or practical ability to help your loved one. Make sure you also have what you need, such as enough sleep, nutritious food, and some time to yourself to recharge.
Know that you might not be able to do this alone. Enlist other friends and family to help provide the different kinds of support your loved one needs.
5- Friends matter: Be a friend and offer support
Even if you cannot be a primary caregiver, dropping by for a visit or with a prepared meal can be greatly appreciated. Showing a friend or family member that you care goes a long way. Knowing they have love and support can greatly encourage patients throughout the whole surgical process. It’s also important not to neglect emotional support: sometimes your loved one might just need a little love.
A smooth recovery process helps ensure the best possible results from a joint replacement surgery. Between the physical limitations and the mental anxiety, every patient needs a caregiver. Here at Duval Orthopaedic Clinic we’re always available to give you information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.