If you have recently had joint replacement therapy, or such a surgery is in your near future, you may be wondering if you're still going to be able to enjoy time with your family and friends as you recover. After all, no matter how much we look forward to all that comes with having kids and grandkids over to visit, it can still be tiring and challenging – even under the best of circumstances.
To help you not just endure, but truly enjoy your post-surgery social time with friends and family, consider implementing these four tips:
- If possible, let your loved ones come to you.
If getting around is difficult after your joint replacement surgery, it may be a good idea to spend your recovery time in a familiar environment. Planning to have your friends and family come to you, rather than risking getting out in potentially inclement weather or walking on unfamiliar terrain, may be your best bet.
Of course, if you're having trouble with post-surgery mobility, organizing and hosting a large get-together on your own probably isn't very practical. So don't hesitate to ask for help and enlist your loved ones to help you clean, decorate, and/or cook. This approach allows you to take part in social festivities without leaving home or overtaxing yourself during your recovery period.
- Plan social outings carefully to best accommodate your special needs.
If you will be going out to enjoy together time, careful planning is essential to ensuring that your outing does not cause a setback in your recovery.
If you are attending a dinner or party at the home of friends or family, touch base with your host about your post-surgical needs. For instance, if you are using a walker or wheelchair to get around, make sure your hosts realize you'll need plenty of space for safe navigation. If you need to elevate your feet periodically to keep swelling and pain in check, make sure your host can accommodate for that. You'll most likely need assistance getting up steps and a bit of support on potentially slick or uneven walkways. Making these needs clear and making appropriate arrangements ahead of time can make your outing a great deal easier, safer and more enjoyable.
- Plan ahead for tolerable, efficient gift shopping.
If you are doing some hostess, birthday, or anniversary gift shopping during your joint replacement surgery recovery, you'll need to make some changes in your usual routine.
If you prefer traditional shopping, plan short trips rather than all-day shopping marathons. Additionally, plan to shop in stores that offer wheelchairs or scooters for customer use, just in case the trip turns out to be harder than you expect. Online shopping may be your best option to help you reduce the stress and strain of the task.
- Always Leave Yourself An “Out”
Joint replacement surgery is a big shock to the body, and it will take some time to heal, recover, and get back to normal. Whether you are celebrating at home with friends and family or attending a social event elsewhere, planning a solid "out" for yourself is important just in case you begin to feel tired or unwell.
Let friends and family know that you may have to duck out, whether that means retreating to a quiet space during an event in your own home or leaving a dinner party early. For shopping trips, bring a trusted shopping partner with you who is willing to finish your shopping or take your place in the check-out line should you need to sit down and rest.