Building a rehab unit at home

My mom just had both knees replaced. So, guess what we did. We turned her home into a little rehab unit. How did we do it? Let’s dive in. You can do this too. No sweat.

Part One:

For the purpose of this article, I am going to use my mom’s knees as an example. You can translate this to your situation. For her, it was a planned surgery. For you, it might be an unplanned situation and you’re scrambling a bit to catch up but nonetheless, you can do it. Just a side tidbit......Even if you’re not facing surgery, I would think through these items and be ready for an unplanned medical situation that requires some rehab.

First, get prepared. Get your bedroom set up. What are you going to be like as you come home and can’t move like you used to? Do you need to lower the bed? My mom is small. We lowered her bed by taking out the metal frame and keeping the headboard and footboard. We put the mattress and box springs on the floor. Then, we had her try it. Perfect. She could easily sit on the edge of the bed without struggling. We knew she was going to have some sensitive legs after surgery. We made sure she had pillows and a couple of small blankets that we could fold and adjust between her knees or under her knees. Positioning is extremely important for pain control.

Next, get the bathroom set up. Take a look at your bathing situation. Can you get a shower chair (I personally prefer a bench) in the shower or the tub? Practice while you can move easily prior to surgery getting in and out of the shower and pretend like you cannot move very well.

Look around and feel where are you going to hold on for support. Do you need to install grab bars? Can you get into the shower imagining yourself straight out of surgery? Get creative on how you can bathe. Water is so refreshing and it will lift your spirits. It is vital you are able to use water to clean yourself in some sort of way. It’s healing.

Now, what is the toilet like? Do you have something you can lift yourself up and down with your arms and stabilize yourself? There are many types of toilet seat adaptive equipment. First question to ask yourself. Do you need the toilet seat higher? Most of the handles and support equipment to put around your toilet also has a platform like thing that sits on the toilet that makes your seat higher.

I personally don’t like these if you don’t need to raise the seat of your toilet. They can be wobbly; they are hard to clean and they may throw you off your game because they are so different and cumbersome. However, if you are sitting on your toilet down too far and it’s hard to get up, by all means get one and start using it before surgery. They make handles that go secure to the screws where your toilet seat attaches.

The handles are like arm rests on your typical chair so you can lift yourself up with your arms. Take a look at the different kinds and see what best suits you and be sure to have it all set up and use it before surgery to get accustomed to it and to be sure it’s what you need and like.

Next week we will take a look at the other items you need to have ready prior to surgery. You are having to do many other things to get ready. Just add this adaptation preparation to your planning and you’ll have a successful rehab experience. You Are Winning! Don’t Forget!