How Your Aging Parent Can Speed Up Recovery After Hip Surgery

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How Your Aging Parent Can Speed Up Recovery After Hip Surgery

Do you have a parent who has just recently, or is about to undergo hip replacement surgery? This type of surgery isn’t unheard of with seniors and can be a solution to help reduce pain, improve their balance and mobility, and strengthen the joint.

So while the surgery itself can offer plenty of health benefits, the road to recovery isn’t always smooth or quick. With that said, here are some tips that can help speed up the recovery process after hip surgery, helping to reduce the likelihood of complications arising.

Be Realistic About the Recovery Timeframe

This first tip has to do with mindset, which is an important piece of the recovery process. Both your parent and you need to be realistic about how long recovery should take. Even if they do everything right, it can still be a long process and patience will be key.

Generally speaking, the recovery time takes two to eight weeks, but remember seniors do take longer to recover, so you don’t want to push things too fast. Supplements for inflammation may be part of the recovery solution, but holistic recovery care is essential.

As long as they follow the recovery plan, they should be able to return to light activities within three to six weeks.

A Physical Therapist Helps with Recovery and Mobility

hip flexor stretch against the wall

One of the most helpful tools in the recovery process will be for your parent to work with a physical therapist. This usually happens within a few days of the surgery so that healing can begin almost immediately. Physical therapy focuses on the basics at first such as gaining back motion and movement, sitting up in bed, getting out of bed, and then eventually taking small steps. Chances are your parent will need to walk with crutches or a walker initially.

Why is it so important your parent starts moving around so soon after surgery? It allows for proper blood flow in the body and will help them to strengthen their muscles. A physical therapist will also go through many exercises that your parent will need to follow once they get home. Be sure to keep them on schedule, as these exercises will be needed for months not just weeks.

Expect your parent to also work with an occupational therapist, at least in the short term. Again, they will help your parent with the basics so that they can get back to daily tasks and routines.

What Happens During the Overnight Hours?

Another factor to consider is the overnight hours. You may be able to offer assistance to your parent during the day – depending on your schedule, helping your parent with their needs and ensuring they stay on track with recovery, but what about overnight? You need to sleep sometime but they may need care in the middle of the night. This can include things like helping them get to the bathroom and back, taking medications on time, getting into bed safely, and so forth.

Try searching for temporary St. Louis senior care overnight options, as this can provide the peace of mind everyone in the family needs. You know your parent will be safe and cared for while you’re able to sleep and be refreshed to help them during the day.

Just imagine if your parent were to fall in the overnight hours, simply because they don’t have help. That could set their recovery back in a big way, and even cause further damage.

What About Tools and Equipment That Help with Recovery?

There are also tools, equipment, and tips that can help speed up recovery and ensure your parent stays safe. The physical therapist or occupational therapist will likely go over these items with you, suggesting which ones are needed.

Some of the tips and tools that may be recommended include:

  • Walker, crutches, or cane
  • Shower seat with non-slip feet
  • Raised toilet seat
  • Reaching device
  • Grab bars in the bathroom
  • Switching to Velcro shoes so they are easy to get in and out of

Most of these tips and tools will be temporary, but your parent may wish to keep some to ensure they stay safe moving forward, even after recovery.

Ensure They Get Enough Sleep and Stick to a Healthy Diet

This final tip is important after any type of surgery, not just a hip replacement. Getting enough good quality sleep is essential in helping your body to recover and get stronger. Sleeping may be difficult or uncomfortable in the initial days and weeks as they try to find a comfortable position. Sometimes it helps to use pillows between the legs.

Eating a healthy diet will ensure they have the proper nutrients to fuel their body. Eating plenty of protein is also suggested after surgery, as this will build new cells since it contains lots of iron in it. High protein sources include such items as lentils, lean ground beef, black beans, and chicken.

One Singular Goal in Mind – Speeding Up Recovery

Each of these tips shares one singular goal and that’s to speed up recovery after hip replacement surgery. These will help your parent to recover healthily and steadily, ensuring they don’t suffer any setbacks.

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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