My 80 yr old father is having a THR (right hip) in the next few weeks. Other than this he's very healthy, in shape, etc. They live in a two story house but they basically live on the first floor (second floor has guest room and treadmill with sleeper sofa in the loft - so only guests ever get up there and my mom for her treadmill. They live in Ann Arbor Michigian (so I'm glad he's getting this done in the summer instead of winter). My mom (72 -and also very health) will be taking care of him. She's not the best care taker but if I "push" important issues she'll listen (based on all my medical problems my parents have learned to listen to me).
I'm looking for any tips or advice I can pass on to him - along with making sure he knows what to expect. So far I've told him that they will possibly get him out of bed the day after surgery to begin the physical therapy and I think he should definitely have a (1) walker (2) reacher (3) sock donner (4) toilet seat elevation device and (5) shower bench.
I've also told him they may do PCA (pain pump while in the hospital).
Any tips, advice or expectations you can help me with? Or maybe a prior post someone knows of (I tried searching )that gives good tips.
You have a good start. The tools you list will be needed and will most probably be prescribed. I'll add a couple to the list: a dressing stick and a shower head on a hose for ease in showering seated if appropriate. They may prescribe a commode which can be used either bedside, placed over a toilet fixture, and I even used mine as a shower seat with the bucket removed. Didn't need it but a few times but worked great and no need to purchase a shower seat which wouldn't have been covered by insurance. Add a walker and/or crutches (maybe get some sort of bag so he can carry things on the walker) and a cane for later and he's good to go. I had both hips replaced about 6 yrs ago (age 59) and they got me up the evening of surgery day. Is his surgeon sending him to rehab before sending him home? I ask because some patients do this. I went directly home and it worked fine. I would expect that someone might visit his home before surgery (maybe a PT) to advise on any problems that might occur with his home care. If he doesn't go to rehab, he'll likely have visiting nurse and PT for at least a couple of weeks; I had this. They came about 3 times a week. Then I went to outpatient PT. Of course he needs someone to run errands, drive him where he needs to go. Having easy-to-reheat meals prepared ahead of time is handy. That's all I can think of at the moment. Good luck to him.
I was approved to drive at 5-6 wks. He needs to figure out what seating in his home is appropriate and which is not. The rooms that he will use and walk through need to be cleared of throw rugs and clutter to clear a path. He needs to figure out which side of the bed is the correct side (for his Rt hip it will be the side on his Rt when lying on back).
While he is in the hospital (or in rehab) occup. therapy will work on dressing & undressing using tools. They aim to make the patient as self-sufficient as possible with ADLs. They teach how to use stairs, curbs. I even had a session in a mock-up "kitchen" on how to make myself a simple meal while on a walker.
I'll add to Tobias' additions: long handled metal shoe horn; grab bar type rails for the head of the bed to aid in getting up from the bed - these come with long "legs" that fit under the mattress over the box spring; and leg lifter. I found all these to be indispensable. I had my right hip replaced in December of 2007 and was 78 at the time. All these dressing and mobility aids help the person to be almost fully independent. I live alone, being widowed for about a year now, and have to be self sufficient. It is worth every penny to purchase these aids, in my opinion! Even though your mother is there to help your father, it is better for his spirit to help himself as much as possible, and this will free her to do her regular tasks around the home, too. And all this doing for himself will aid immensely in his rehab!
Everyone who reads this Forum has seen my suggestions many times already, but as you say, it will help you save time in research.
Thank you so much for your tips. I wish I lived closer (they are in MI and I am in AZ) becasue I'd like to go to the pre-op visit with him. I'm guessing that the hospitals are so used to dealing with "elderly" THR patients that they have a defined treatment plan. Today my dad called and said "a lady at church said she had a friend who had a sister who had a THR and died of a heart attack on the OR table". I had to reassure him that first he is VERY healthty, second - all surgeries have risk, and third - don't listen to other people's horror stories.
He said "I'm in agony" and I said "then don't let other people's horror stories scare you more."
Luckily I'm a surgery pro (had so many I've nearly lost count) - so I'm coaching him along.
Please assure your dear father that the reason for the pre op thorough physical exam, is to make sure the person is in good shape to have surgery of any kind. There is no way he will be allowed to go ahead with the surgery if he is not healthy enough! These pre ops, here, are given within a week of the prospective surgery.
Shame on those people who are scaring your father with the horror stories. I am not much younger than he is and I came through the hip replacement just fine and am doing great. I also had another elective surgery a couple of years ago and came through that just fine, too.
Shirley's right--people don't mean to scare you with stories, but it's almost irresistable. So you just have to stop listening to them. I just told one friend from work to "go easy on me." and to remember that I was easily spooked. So she now just says encouraging things.
Shirley's got some great advice! It's made me feel tons better.
Hope you dad does ok. Hes lucky to have you to hold his hand (even if it is long distance!)
Thank you Maggie and Shirley. I'm sure he'll come out fine as he is tremendously healthy. My dad and mom both have great health (he's 80 and she's 73). The funny thing is I'm adopted - so I got all the bad joints, high cholesterol, etc. I did make my dad laugh yesterday when I said "are you sure I'm adopted?, you always said no one in your family ever had joint problems, now mom had a shoulder replacement and you are having a hip replacement...hmmmmm". If only though adoption I could have gotten their heart health DNA. They eat cheese, fatty foods, etc like crazy and both have fantastic cholesterol levels, healthy weights, etc.
I did calm my dad a bit. I told him that even at the hospital they make you sign a form that lists all the possible complications (and some that may never have happened but could) - and reminded him that every procedure is a risk - if I had given up on surgery due to the risks I'd be totally incapacitated as I'd have tremendous daily struggles wtih all the joints I had fixed.
As you commented, those pre surgery hospital forms we have to read and sign, list every possible complication known to man. Since my late husband was a lawyer, I always read every word of everything before I sign, and if I had let these possibilites daunt me, I would never have any kind of surgery!
So glad to hear your parents are so healthy and vital. Good for them. You are lucky to have such healthy parents. Too bad you couldn't have inherited all this! But I think you got their healthy outlook on life, the way it sounds to me.