Week 6 - Keeping Independent

Waiting for surgery and living with pain can be demoralising, depressing and stressful. A common concern for people waiting for a hip or knee replacement is that loss of strength and mobility, together with pain and fatigue, will make it increasingly difficult for them to live independently at home.

Feeling like you are losing your independence can severely impact your mental health. It could cause you to feel a loss of purpose or helplessness which can lead to depression. If you are losing your independence, it is likely your health will decline. This can increase the risks of surgery and increase the length and difficulty of recovery. This would make it much harder for you to regain your independence that you were used to prior your joint replacement.

Practical Tips to keeping your independence

Keep active

Moving your joint regularly through activity and exercise will help strengthen the muscles that support the joint and it keep the joint itself more flexible. This can help with pain, mobility and stamina which are important for maintaining independence at home.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Having a healthy lifestyle involves eating a well-balanced diet, being physically active, sleeping well, not smoking, and not drinking alcohol to excess. This is important for your health, mood, and energy. If your health, mood and energy decline it can be harder to maintain independence at home.

Manage pain

Living with long-term pain is difficult and can lead to a vicious cycle of problems which could result into a loss of independence at home. You will not be able to get rid of your pain completely, but keeping active, doing strength exercises, managing weight, and sleeping well are methods that have shown to be helpful with managing pain.

Create a home that works for you

Some home aids and adaptations could help you live a little easier at home helping you to maintain independence. These could be:

  • adding extra handrails to help with moving around the home,
  • having furniture that is high enough for you to stand from,
  • keeping everything you want to use daily within easy reach,
  • keeping floors free from clutter and cables,
  • having non-slip floor in the bathroom and kitchen
  • wearing supportive and gripey shoes to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls.

Your weekly exercises

Click the links below to see this week's exercises. You will need to do just one level. Start on the foundation level, and if you find it easy click on the intermediate and advanced exercises for a more difficult version.