Preparing for Joint Replacement: How to Make a Smooth Transition

Preparing for Joint Replacement: How to Make a Smooth Transition

If knee or hip pain is hindering you or the one you love from living everyday life, it may be time to consider talking to a doctor about getting a knee or hip replacement. If a doctor thinks that this is the right course to take, you will need to begin preparing yourself or your loved one in order to make a smooth and seamless transition.

According to Edward Toy, Sales & Marketing Director at Lions Gate, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Voorhees, New Jersey, joint replacement surgery is more common than ever, but in order to make your life easier after replacement, it is important to be prepared. “Many times, seniors are so wrapped up in being worried about the surgery itself that they forget to do some of the most important things – taking care of medical documents and making sure you know what is going on during the surgery is important,” Ed Toy states. “But taking care of yourself and what is to come is just as important, if not more so. No one wants the stress of worrying what is going to happen at home while lying in the bed post-surgery.”


In order to diminish stress and allow for a smoother transition home, post-surgery, experts from Everyday Healthand the Arthritis Foundationrecommend having a plan in place and doing your preparation ahead of time for the best post-surgery results.

  1. Take care of medical concerns. Before the surgery, you will want to work closely with your medical team in order to be truly prepared for what is going to happen. They may recommend that you begin eating better or start an exercise regimen. If the reason you need surgery is because of arthritis, they may recommend trying to lose weight or may ask that you begin doing some physical therapy to prepare for your operation.Remember to also get medical documents ready for your surgery. These can include a list of medications you take and their dosages, a list of your doctors and their phone numbers or a list of medical conditions or allergies that you currently have. You may also need to prepare insurance documents or cards and advance directives or wills.
  2. Get your home in order. Because there is usually a lot of time between scheduling a joint replacement surgery and the actual surgery happening, there will be some time for you to prepare your home prior to discharge. In order for you to be as safe as possible, it is important that you eliminate clutter, move cords and create wide enough paths to walk with either a walker or crutches. Make sure that everything you need will be within reach and that you can access them easily. This includes preparing anything related to cooking, sleeping or showering.To make the transition home easier, it may be a good idea to purchase some aids that can help make getting around your home easier. Installing hand rails and door handles will make it easier for you to move about your home, as will a walker or cane. They can help to give the extra support you need to stay on your feet. If you drop anything or need to reach for anything that is down low, it may be a good idea to purchase a reaching tool or a grabber.
  3. Prepare a designated team. Your most valuable resource post-surgery is going to be those who can help you get back on your feet. While you may be able to tackle some tasks at home, you are still going to need some help. Cooking, laundry and housework could prove taxing for someone who just had joint replacement surgery, as will driving and grocery shopping. Try to arrange who will do these tasks beforehand so you can reduce the amount of stress and frustration you will go through later.Make sure that you have someone on standby after surgery so that you already have a secured ride home. Make sure that this person has a large car, SUV or a van that you can lay the seat all the way back so as to not aggravate your healing body.
  4. Take care of last minute details. Before going to the hospital for your surgery, it is a good idea to prepare a small bag packed with some necessary items. These include: Slip-proof shoes that are easy to get on, a robe, medicines you take, toiletries and other personal care items.Do not forget to pack an outfit for when you are discharged. Loose fitting clothing, workout clothing and sturdy shoes will be the easiest to get on and off.


“While going through replacement surgery is more common and easier than ever, it is still a wise idea to sign yourself up for some rehabilitation,” Ed states. “With our Rehabilitation services and our partners in rehabilitation and wellness, we can help you get right back up on your feet safely and quickly.”

Although we are a retirement community, anyone may be directly admitted into our Rehabilitation programs, where you can take advantage of some of the same benefits our residents do. Lions Gate is equipped with a full rehabilitation gym, physical therapy and even aquatic therapy in an indoor, heated pool. After therapy, come have a meal prepared by our executive chef exclusively for our rehabilitation patients.

“We can even help you with a smooth transition home,“ says Ed. “At Lions Gate, we will evaluate your home to ensure safety, provide you and your family members with training and ensure you have all of the resources you need to get you home as soon as possible.”


Lions Gate, located in Voorhees, NJ, offers a continuum of lifestyle and care options rooted in Jewish traditions and values. Whether you are in need of Independent Living,Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services, Lions Gate has you covered.

Our mission at Lions Gate is to enrich the lives of those we serve through quality and compassionate care consistent with our heritage and values. We strive to provide programs and services that inspire well-being, as well as social, cultural and spiritual independence.

As a full-service community rich in wellness programs, meaningful experiences and educational opportunities from Lions Gate University, Lions Gate allows residents to connect with those who share their interests and cherished traditions. Our goal is to provide residents with an active, worry-free lifestyle filled with ways to connect with others, pursue their passions and be engaged in everyday life. While we focus on Jewish customs and traditions, we welcome people of all faiths to the Lions Gate family.

Through our affiliation with Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Service, we also offer three senior living communities for those with limited incomes.

To learn more about Lions Gate’s unparalleled lifestyle and community services, contact us today!