• Chair on wheels. You won’t need a wheel chair after joint replacement surgery, but you may benefit from  a deck chair or office chair with wheels will make it easier to get around in the kitchen.
  • Carry all. A walker basket can help you get things from A to B when you need your hands to hold your walker. If you don’t have one, try an apron with large pockets. The apron will also work when you’re upgraded to a cane.
  • Reachers and grabbers. You won’t be stretching to reach items on high shelves or squatting to pick up the floor or pull up socks for a while. Check your medical supply store for devices that can help you do daily tasks with minimal stretching and bending.

4. Arrange for help. Upon your discharge, you’ll be able to tackle some basic daily tasks on your own, but you may need help with meals, laundry, housework and shopping for several weeks, says Dr. Kolisek. 

While needing help is a certainty, you won’t know exactly how much you’ll need until you’re home from surgery, says Blake, who asked her aunt to stay with her a week or two after her first knee replacement surgery in 1986. Blake ended up needing her help for a full month. If you’re married, try to plan your surgery for when your spouse can stay home with you for a week or two. If you live alone, ask a friend or family member to come and stay for several days. At the least, have someone check on you a few times a day. If you don’t have friends or family nearby, Weser advises checking to see if your place of worship has a homebound ministry that can help.

If all else fails, you can hire someone to stay with you full or part time through a home health-care or companion service. You can find services in the phone book or online under “Home Health Services,” or through your discharge planner. But check with your insurance first. Most insurers do not cover such services.

5. Plan on how to get home. The first order of business in your homecoming will be getting home safely. Although you won’t know the exact time of your departure before your surgery, you can count on a three-to-five-day hospital stay, so having someone on call during that time will help ensure that your ride is ready when you are.

Having the right ride is important. Most experts recommend a large sedan, SUV or mini van, especially for hip replacement patients, who will have positional restrictions on their new joint.