Before Surgery: Preparing Your Home

Woman sitting on bed putting on shoe with long-handled shoehorn.

You may want to make a few simple changes around the house before surgery. Make life easier and safer after surgery. Reduce household hazards now. Also, limit the amount of reaching and stair climbing you’ll have to do. By planning ahead now, you’ll have less to worry about during recovery.

Make your home safe

Tips for a safe home include: 

  • Stock up on canned and frozen foods. Store all supplies between hip and shoulder level. That way you can get to them without reaching or bending.

  • Prepare a room on the main living level if you usually sleep upstairs. Or set things up so you have to go upstairs only once a day.

  • Pick up clutter and remove throw rugs.

  • Tape down electrical cords.

  • Put items you use often within reach. These include the TV remote and cellphone charger.

Get special equipment

Special equipment may help you have a safer and easier recovery. If pre-op training is offered, try using the devices before surgery. Some of the most helpful equipment is listed below:

  • An elevated toilet seat

  • A shower seat

  • Handrails and grab bars to help you steady yourself

  • A grasping device to pull on socks and shoes

Arrange for help

After your surgery, you won’t be able to drive for the first few weeks. Perhaps a family member or friend can deliver groceries and help you run errands. If you live alone, ask someone to stay with you for a few days after surgery.