First Steps to Preparing Your Home

After being discharged from the hospital, some amputees will go to a rehabilitation facility for a short time, and others will go directly home.  In either situation, the preparation of your home is important. As part of your planning process, pick a location in your home where you will be the most comfortable for several weeks. Your bed may or may not be the ideal choice. For example, some patients pick a spot on the floor, out of the way in the den, where they can elevate their residual limb, using a large foam wedge,  supplied by the hospital.  A light mattress or a thick (at least 4”) foam pad (check your local fabric store), work well for support and comfort. Others like the comfort of their own beds. Locate medications, water, snacks, telephone, urinals, crutches, knee scooters, etc. close by and within reach. A television close by will help the days pass quickly in the early stages of recovery. Even though you will have some constraints during the early weeks, it is a good idea to stay as active as possible.

For the first two to three weeks, have someone close by to help you. Getting up and going to the bathroom in the early stages of recovery is very painful. Making the transition from the floor or bed, to crutches or a walker is dangerous, especially when you are on powerful pain drugs. It’s better to have a helper standing close by than to risk a fall. Remember.....don't rush.  Plan your moves wisely to minimize pain.