Recovery after hip replacement surgery looks different for every individual, but there are several steps involved to ensure success.
At The Kensington Reston, your loved one will have access to everything they may need to ensure a safe recovery, including onsite physical therapy and therapeutic exercise that matches their level of need.
If a senior loved one in your family needs hip replacement surgery and the proper support to ensure a successful recovery, read on to learn how The Kensington Reston can help.
What does recovery look like after hip replacement surgery?
During hip replacement surgery, damaged sections of the hip joint are replaced with artificial parts to reduce pain and improve movement.
The most common reason for a hip replacement is damage due to arthritis. Your loved one most likely is getting the surgery due to persistent pain and reduced movement.
Hip replacements also commonly result from falls or those with a high fall risk.
After their surgery, additional support will need to be provided. Here is what you can expect in the days, weeks, and months following the surgery. This sense of awareness in seniors can be diminished due to poor spatial awareness, lack of cognition, and perception of using safety devices, and poor balance.
Within the first few days
Patients usually spend one to three days in the hospital after hip replacement surgery.
During their stay, a physical therapist will aid them in sitting up in bed, getting out of bed, and walking short distances.
In the days following the surgery, the physical therapist will show your loved one how to move and perform some strength and range-of-motion exercises in bed.
Things to expect after hospital discharge
Your loved one will be given instructions on specific movement precautions they must take at home, plus daily exercises to perform. A case manager or discharge planner will work with you to determine if discharging to the home is a safe next step or to discharge to a rehabilitation facility or an assisted living community.
An occupational therapist may also help your loved one learn different ways to perform daily tasks safely, including bathing, toileting, and getting dressed.
The home will need certain accommodations to aid in their recovery, such as toilet grab bars or shower seats.
Assistance with navigating activities of daily living, wound care, and performing daily exercises will be needed in the coming days and weeks post-surgery.
Within the next few months and beyond
It can take a few months or more to build up strength and feel less pain with movement.
Your loved one will need to continue with physical therapy and regular check-up appointments.
The physical therapist will provide guidance on when and how to add more movement to improve strength and flexibility.
Depending on recovery, your loved one may be functioning within six months. Some can face additional recovery obstacles up to a year or two following surgery.
Will your loved one be in pain after surgery?
Pain is common after hip replacement surgery, but it is improved with physical therapy, pain medication, and proper after-care.
It’s important to make sure your senior loved one is following all of their doctor’s instructions thoroughly, taking all pain medication on time, and not pushing their body to do more than what is recommended.
Without the proper support put in place at home after surgery, your loved one can face many dangers.
How to plan for the recovery period
Hip replacement recovery takes a lot of time, patience, and continued work with therapy services.
As your loved one’s caregiver, it can be difficult to navigate home accommodations, supervision, and the care requirements involved post-op.
You will need a significant amount of resources, both to prepare your home and yourself for the time needed to assist your loved one with their daily activities and wound care.
When planning for your loved one’s hip replacement and recovery, you may want to consider a move to an assisted living community.
In a community, your loved one will have access to every recovery resource they need to be successful, healthy, and active — and to reduce their pain as much as possible.
This also includes the planning involved before the surgery. Exercise before hip surgery is highly recommended to strengthen the body and make recovery easier.
On-site rehabilitation, including physical therapy and occupational therapy
In an assisted living community, your loved one will have access to on-site rehabilitation services and medical care.
While hip replacement surgery is common, like any major surgery there are certain risks and complications that may occur.
In assisted living, your loved one will have 24-hour access to professional support.
Prior to the surgery, the assisted living care team can put an exercise plan in place to strengthen the body and prepare for surgery.
Following surgery, your loved one will start physical therapy and work directly with physical and occupational therapists. Community settings allow residents the ability to have frequent access to these therapists in their time of recovery.
Therapists will provide exercises tailored to your loved one’s daily progress and improvement, with the goal of advancing the new hip to its full range of motion.
How long are you in rehab after hip replacement?
Your loved one’s hip replacement recovery time will be unique to them. But physical and occupational therapists may continue to work with them for up to a year or more after surgery.
This is to adequately strengthen the body and achieve maximum movement, function, and balance.
It also accommodates your loved one’s unique progress, and adjusts frequently to the changes they require in their daily life.
Hip replacement surgery recovery in assisted living
Hip replacement surgery is common, and has a high rate of success.
For the best outcome, your loved one needs an exercise routine tailored to their specific needs, and assistance completing daily tasks until they are adequately healed.
While many people will be able to continue most of their daily activities after a few months, it can take others up to a year or more for full recovery.
Hip replacement surgery may be a good time to consider what an assisted living community can do for your loved one, post surgery, during recovery, and beyond.
The Kensington Reston offers enhanced assisted living
We partner with HealthPRO Heritage, a regional leader in outstanding therapy services, to offer comprehensive rehab services such as physical and occupational therapy, present wellness opportunities, and promote acute health education.
Whether your loved one is recovering from hip surgery, had a fall, struggles with memory loss, or simply is trying to strengthen their body and increase movement and balance, our rehabilitation services can help.
If you’re considering a move to assisted living for your loved one, reach out to us today to learn more about what our community can do for you and your family.