10 Ways to Prep Your Home for Back Surgery

  • If you live in a multi-level home and don’t have a bedroom on the first floor, think about setting up a temporary sleeping space on the ground floor. Family rooms can make great temporary bedrooms. TIP: Medical supply stores are a good place to find hospital beds, which can make lying down and standing up easier.
  • Post Surgery Clothing to make getting dressed easier.
  • Get a supply of disposable wash cloths, a plastic wash tub, and the necessary things for a sponge bath. It can make shower time a lot easier, especially if stepping into and out of the shower is a challenge. Having sponge bath essentials handy is also helpful when stairs lie between you and the shower.
  • If you decided to go to the medical supply store for a hospital bed, pick up a high-rise toilet extender while you’re there. This will make sitting and standing for routine business much less taxing. As one tipster put it, it was “the best investment we ever made.”
  • Think about hiring a part-time caretaker. For a few hours a week, you can have the assistance of a skilled professional to help you accomplish tasks around your home and provide care that can significantly improve your quality of life during recovery. Imagine a complete bath in your hospital bed, including a shampooing and conditioning of your hair, without one drop of water spilled. Amazing!
  • If you have to create a temporary bedroom to avoid stairs or other architectural obstacles, think about inviting your spouse, a family member, or a close friend to sleep nearby on a couch. Having someone in your temporary sleeping space can make it more comfortable and help you feel safe during a time when you might feel more vulnerable.
  • Make sure you have hard, firm chairs and seats around the house. We all love a comfy couch every now and then, but they pose quite the challenge when it comes time to stand up and get going. Plus, they don’t give much support to your recovering body.
  • Stock your favorite magazines, books, and electronic devices near your bed to keep entertainment within arm’s reach. If you’re going the electronics route, make sure any power cords you might need to charge them are readily accessible. TIP: Tape or tie power cords to a side table to avoid bending over for them.
  • Talk with your friends and family to arrange a visitation schedule for the weeks following your surgery. It will go a long way to provide emotional support during your recovery process, and chances are they’ll bring a treat to share when they pay a visit.
  • Remove floor rugs around the house, especially those that may slip and slide on smooth surfaces. Consider rearranging some of the furniture in your house to create wide pathways between your bed and any other areas of the house you’ll need to access regularly.
  • Make a chart for recording the timing of your pain medications and other prescriptions. It’s easy to forget when you took each of your pills, especially with all of the sleeping and resting you’ll be doing. A chart to track your medications will help you follow the doctor’s orders and aid in the recovery process.

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