It is possible to live comfortably in your home as you age, and even to recover safely from joint surgery at home rather than a rehab facility. However, moving around post-surgery can be challenging. You may not have full strength, or you may require the temporary use of a walker or other adaptive equipment. That means you may need to re-think how you’ll negotiate certain rooms, such as bathroom and kitchen, where space may be tighter and items may be out of reach.
Home Safety Tips: In the Restroom
Most accidents occur in the bathroom. This is where you should begin to look for ways to adapt the area and add safety measures. Many people don’t realize, for example, that it’s unsafe to use a towel bar as a grab bar. Towel bars, installed to hold only lightweight objects may come loose easily when grabbed suddenly because they are only glued onto the tile or lightly screwed into drywall. Consider adding a variety of grab bars near the toilet, shower or tub, that are secured firmly to the wall with anchors and longer screws. The bar needs to be secured well enough so that your full weight when falling can be supported.
Here’s a thought: Can you even get a walker into your bathroom? Is there a means to get in and out of the shower or tub safely? Do you need a shower chair or bench for stability while you are cleaning yourself? Get these things before your surgery, rather than after. Even a plastic deck chair will work as a shower chair, if you are in a pinch. Just make sure it fits!
If you are willing, consider replacing the shower door with a shower curtain. Curtains are just easier to contend with than swinging or sliding doors.