There are several reasons an older adult may need hip replacement surgery. Sometimes chronic conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis cause so much damage to the joint that the pain doesn’t respond to treatment. The procedure involves a surgeon removing the parts of the hip joint that are damaged. Those parts are then replaced with artificial pieces made of ceramic, metal, or plastic. If your aging relative has been told they need a hip replacement, it can be helpful to know what to expect afterward.
While in the Hospital
Most people are hospitalized for around four days for hip replacement surgery. The procedure itself only takes two or three hours. The senior will then need another couple of hours to recover from the anesthesia. Hospital staff will administer medications that control pain, prevent infection, and avoid the formation of blood clots.
Many hip replacement patients are able to get out of bed in a day or two with the assistance of staff members. The senior should expect to receive physical and occupational therapy while they are still in the hospital. Therapists will teach them how to move without injuring themselves or causing pain. Within three days of surgery, many patients are able to walk more easily and may even be able to get from the hospital bed to the bathroom on their own.
Once the senior is discharged from the hospital, they will either return home or go to a rehab facility. Where they go will depend on a couple of things, including their condition and living situation.
When the Senior is Discharged
Doctors will send the older adult home with instructions for cleaning and caring for the incision. They’ll also be told what signs to look for that may indicate an infection. Seniors will also be instructed to continue doing physical therapy exercises at home. They may even receive home visits from nurses and physical therapists.
The sutures or staples are typically removed between 10 and 14 days after surgery. Within 3 to 6 weeks, they’ll be able to return to doing light activities and could be able to walk without a mobility device. Within 10 to 12 weeks, normal activities can resume.
What Elder Care Can Do to Help
Elder care can assist your aging relative during recovery from hip replacement surgery. Elder care providers can help the senior to move safely until they are well enough to move about on their own. Elder care providers can also remind the older adult when it is time to take medicine. Since the senior won’t be able to drive for up to 6 weeks following surgery, elder care can offer transportation to appointments and other places.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.