What Products can help when someone has had a hip replacement?
Hip replacements are becoming more and more commonplace – there are about 50,000 carried out in the UK every year!
Although the end result is an increase in mobility, the first 6 – 8 weeks for a patient coming out of hospital can be very frustrating and they will need a lot of support from friends and family as well as some key bits of equipment to make life that little bit easier.
Here are Anthea’s suggestions for what to get in to help them:
Elbow crutches – these will very often be leant to the patient from the hospital, but very often they make be a fairly basic, standard design. If you can it is really nice to get some with an ergonomically designed handle to spread the pressure and hence increase the comfort for the user. Also, to aid the users independence a ‘crutch pod’ can help them keep at their important things with them.
Once they have a bit or mobility they may prefer to start walking using two walking sticks.
In the bathroom, simple things like lowering themselves onto the toilet will be extremely difficult. A raised toilet seat that aims to bring the height of the toilet up to 18/19” is essential. In addition a free standing toilet frame with help steady them on and off the toilet. These require no permanent fixings so can be stored away once the patient is fully mobile again.
A bath step can be used by the patient to step over the side of the bath so they may use an over the bath shower, or to cope with a high step into the shower cubicle.
Chair raisers should be put under any of the chairs the patient will be sitting in. This is typically and arm chair and a dining table. The aim is to bring the height of the seat up to 18/19”. These are quick and easy to put in place and can be easily removed when not required. A perching stool gives the user a raised seat to rest on while carrying out tasks around the home. It also means that they do not need to flex the hip joint too much as it keeps the legs in a more upright position.
Dressing aids are so useful for the patient to keep their independence and not feel they have to call on someone to keep helping them to get dressed and undressed, although I’m sure they will be very grateful for help in the first couple of weeks. Look at items such as, helping hand, sock/stocking aid and a long handled shoehorn.
Finally, an important point to note is that bath boards and bath lifts should not be used by hip replacement patients as the patient must not flex the operated hip beyond 90 degrees ( a right angle).