Caregiver Resources

Caregivers are important members of the care team. After hip replacement, your encouragement, help and support will go a long way in helping your loved one recover.

When your loved one leaves the hospital, you’re not leaving support behind. We’re a phone call away when you have questions or if you just want to talk with someone who understands the ups and downs of recovering after hip replacement surgery. We’re here to support you and your loved one every step of the way.

How You Can Help in the Hospital

Rehabilitation therapy after hip replacement surgery begins in the hospital, as soon as the day of surgery. Here are ways you can help your loved one begin their recovery and start rehabilitation:

  • Remind them to do their breathing exercises, coughing, deep breathing and ankle pumps. They’re quick, simple exercises that help clear the lungs, and prevent pneumonia and blood clots. 
  • If possible, attend a therapy session with them to learn the exercises they’ll be doing at home.
  • Don’t let them to get up without help. Make sure a staff member helps them get out of bed and with walking.
  • Talk with any of our associates if you have questions or concerns.

How You Can Help at Discharge


When it’s time for discharge from the hospital, your loved one is responsible for having someone drive them home or to a skilled nursing facility. Your family member should be able to travel by car.


Your loved one will take prescription pain medication and a blood thinner after being discharged from the hospital. Those prescriptions need to be filled immediately to have at home. If your loved one will be going to a skilled nursing facility first, the facility will provide the medications.


If your family member is recovering at home, they may need equipment for support as they heal and rehabilitate. Their rehabilitation team will provide specifics about what’s needed and where to get it. If your family member is going to a skilled nursing facility, the facility will provide the equipment needed. The equipment may include:

  • Assistive device, such as a walker 
  • Ice packs
  • Hand-held breathing device
  • Pillows for elevation

How You Can Help at Home


Walk through the house before your loved one goes home from the hospital to see if there are issues that may make it hard or unsafe to make their way around the house. Using an assistive device, such as a walker, takes extra effort. Some things that can help make it easier for your loved one to get around on their own include:

  • Arranging furniture so it’s easy to get around the house using a walker or cane
  • Using a firm pillow in chairs or the sofa to make it easier to get up from sitting
  • Removing throw rugs
  • Tucking electrical cords out of the way
  • Using an elevated toilet seat
  • Installing grab bars in the shower/bath tub


Your family member should be able to sit down and stand up from sitting and move around the house using an assistive device such as a walker. They will need help with tasks and activities such as meals, showering and dressing. Be sure to follow the instructions about how to care for your loved one’s incision.

Things to Watch For

Like any major surgery, hip replacement surgery comes with risks for issues such as infection, blood clots and pneumonia. There are signs of those complications you can watch for. Contact the physician if your family member: 

  • Has any changes in the appearance of the incision area
  • Runs a fever 101° F or higher
  • Calf pain, redness or swelling
  • Complains of chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Has any type of injury to the recovering hip or leg


Hip replacement surgery is the first step to getting back to life with less pain. Outpatient therapy follows and is crucial in helping the new hip joint heal completely. To make the most of therapy: 

  • Your family member should schedule their own appointments, making them for times that are convenient, with no conflicting activities or issues. 
  • Therapy should be a priority, but encourage your family member to balance rest and exercise.
  • Some swelling is normal and unfortunately, painful. You can help with icing and elevation, which helps reduce the swelling. Have your family member lay with the surgery side up, elevating the leg with several pillows. Apply an ice pack off and on throughout the day. 

Emotional Support

Your support during your loved one’s recovery will be one of the best ways to help them. Although hip replacement surgery will help them return to a life with less pain, it takes time to get there. Pain, discomfort and healing time may cause them to become frustrated. Remind them that every day of exercise and therapy helps them heal and get stronger. Your encouragement can be just the medicine they need.