You’ll learn about several top-priority home modifications during physical therapy (two words: raised commode) but we want to help you prepare for some of the sources of discomfort that don’t really fit the realm of medical necessity. This guide is all about you – and your ability to enjoy a stress free recovery.
We have taken care to limit our suggestions to home modifications that you can enjoy long after recovery. This guide is not exhaustive by any means, but it might help you think of a few small changes that can help you achieve the ultimate knee-friendly home.
Preparing Your Comfy Recovery Action Kit
Your physical therapist will give you a long list of exercises your knee needs to stay mobile. After all that work, you might not feel like running around the house any more than you have to. Take the necessary steps to ensure that every movement is a healthy, recovery-conscious one.
Consider adding remote-control functionality to the lighting, entertainment, and temperature control systems in the rooms you use most often. This little slice of luxury is invaluable on those “bad” days when post-op exercises leave your knees feeling too sore for repeated sitting and standing. Make sure that the remote is universal so that you can carry it wherever you go.
Speaking of repeated standing, have you ever thought about buying a lift chair? While ordinary recliners only tip backward, lift chairs have the added functionality of a forward-leaning position to help you stand without knee strain. Your doctor or physical therapist will be able to tell you when your knee is ready for the various positions that a modern lift chair has to offer, many of which are a great way to relieve strain on the recovering knee.
Solutions for Bigger Mobility Needs
Walking up and down the stairs is a tricky situation. Your physical therapist will probably recommend a set amount of stair-related exercise each day just to keep the knee limber and strong. There are some situations that make the stairs too dangerous, such as the case when medication induces weakness or when you have an armful of cargo to carry.
For these situations we suggest a perch-style stair lift. These machines are widely available on a rental basis, but because most surgeries are not expected to eliminate pain completely, the unit may provide enough long term benefit to warrant an outright purchase.
These lifts attach to a track mounted on your stairs, with a small “perch” style seat to lean against. You will not have to bend your knees to use one and they usually come with a strap and balance bar for safety. Ask about the installation of a cargo attachment. Stair lifts are available for indoor and outdoor use.
Nothing feels better than getting home after a stay in the hospital but you can make the homecoming even sweeter by planning out your modifications well beforehand.
We hope that you’re feeling inspired – recovering from surgery can make a house feel like an obstacle course, but the simple modifications mentioned in this guide might help you make the most of your surroundings. Get started now and come home to a relaxing atmosphere suitable for a quick recovery.