Take time before your surgery to prepare your home so you’ll be able to focus on your recovery after your hospital stay. Simple changes in furniture arrangement, housekeeping and lighting can cut your risk of falls in half. And arranging a network of friends, family and neighbors who can provide help and support will ease your recovery.

Prevent Falls

Tape loose edges of room size rugs or remove them.

Don’t use bath oils in the shower or tub.

Wear proper footwear with non-skid bottoms (no “scuffs” or shoes without heels).

Remove dirt, dust and lint from the rubber tips of your walker, crutches or cane.

Stairs and Steps

Remove throw rugs.

Make sure there’s enough light to see each step and landing.

Install handrails on both sides of your stairway (if possible).

Don’t leave objects on the stairs.

If possible, prepare a temporary living space on the ground floor of your home. Walking up and down steps is difficult in early recovery.

Kitchen

Remove throw rugs.

Immediately clean up any spills (liquid, grease, food, etc.).

Store food, dishes and cooking equipment at an easy-to-reach waist level.

Place frequently used items on the upper shelf of your refrigerator.

Group similar items together for easier access.

Plan simple, easy meals.

Prepare extra meals before your surgery and freeze them for your return home.

Clear your countertops so you can slide items from one location to another.

Bathroom

Remove throw rugs.

Store items at an easy-to-reach waist level.

Consider purchasing an elevated toilet seat.

Talk to your therapist about your bathing or showering routine. You may need to use a different method while you recover.

You may need special equipment. Your caregiver team will discuss this with you during class, and during your hospital stay.

Bedroom

Remove throw rugs.

Remove clutter from the floor.

Make wide paths so you can move with your walker, cane or crutches.

Place a lamp or flashlight near your bed.

Install night lights along the route between the bathroom and your bedroom.

Sleep in a bed that’s high enough to easily enter and exit.

Keep a telephone near your bed.

If you have room, place a solid arm chair in your bedroom so you can sit to get dressed.

Living Area

Remove throw rugs.

Arrange your furniture to create easy traffic patterns between rooms.

Sit in chairs with arms and no wheels.

Place a firm blanket or pillow on low chairs or sofas to make the seat higher.

This makes it easier to get up.

Don’t run wires or extension cords under rugs or runners. This is a fire hazard.

Remove or tape down any cords or wires.

More Things to Consider

Have comfortable clothes to wear.

Schedule haircuts or styling sessions to make you feel more comfortable.

Arrange for pet care during and after your hospital stay.

Prepare a space for indoor pets so they can be out of your way while you’re healing and regaining mobility. 

Store pet food in small, manageable containers at easy-to-reach waist level.

Arrange for someone to get your mail, groceries and take you to appointments.

Pay your bills.

Prepare ice packs.

Refill medications you take on a regular basis to avoid trips to the pharmacy.

Consider what type of car you’ll go home in and how easily you’ll be able to get in and out of it. You may want to add a pillow or blanket in the car to use for positioning when you come home.

Move things you might need (medications, magazines, phone, cooking utensils, laundry items) to areas where you can reach them easily.

Carry a portable phone or cell phone with you at all times.

Have telephone numbers of people that could help you in case of emergency readily available.

Make sure adequate lighting is provided in each room (overhead and task lighting) to increase safety. 

Avoid vacuuming, mopping floors, carrying laundry and changing bed linens.