6 Ways to Surgery-Proof Your Home

Preparing for major surgery involves more than just packing for the hospital. Creating a “recovery-ready” environment at home can significantly enhance your comfort and ensure your safety during the healing process. While this guide offers general information, it’s important to also consult with your doctor or healthcare provider for personalized post-surgery recovery instructions. 

First and foremost, remember that accessibility is key. Make sure it’s easy for you to get around your home after your procedure, especially if you’ll be using crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair during your recovery. You may need to move some furniture around to create clear, wide pathways between your living room, bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. You may also want to:

1. Designate a recovery zone

  • Everyday essentials: Place frequently used items like remote controls, non-refrigerated snacks, and books on easy-to-reach shelves or tables to minimize bending and reaching.
  • Clear pathways: Remove tripping hazards in your walking paths such as rugs and cords, and secure loose edges and corners with double-sided adhesive tape. Add nightlights in the hallways, bathroom, and anywhere else you may walk at night for safety.
  • Comfortable retreat: Choose a relaxing space on the main level, ideally near a bathroom and kitchen. Furnish it with a supportive but comfortable chair, with arms to help you sit and stand, an easy-to-reach side table for essentials, and ample pillows and blankets.
  • Entertainment and essentials: Keep a pen and pad of paper, books, puzzles, electronics, a phone charter (with extension cord if needed) laptop or tablet chargers, medications, personal items such as lotion, a comb or hairbrush, and non-refrigerated snacks readily available in your recovery zone.

2. Equip for hands-free mobility

  • Carry-all solutions: If you’re going to be using a walker or crutches after surgery, you’ll need to keep your hands free to help you balance as you move around your house. You can still carry essentials, like your cell phone, from room to room with a little help from a:
    • Fanny pack
    • Small backpack
    • Pouch attachment for crutches
    • Basket attachment for walkers
  • Install motion-sensor lights: Eliminate the need to manually switch on and off lights.

3. Lay out comfortable clothing

Make sure you have enough clean, comfy clothes ready so that you won’t have to do laundry for the first week or two after your surgery. Recovery-friendly clothes should be loose-fitting, so they don’t press on your incisions, but not so loose that you can trip over them. You’ll probably also want a pair of slip-on shoes that you can put on without bending over.

Depending on your room set-up, you may need to move your clean clothes from your closet or dresser to somewhere easier to reach, like a chair or table.

4. Surgery-proof your bathroom

There are plenty of activities you can cut out during your recovery, but using the bathroom isn’t one of them. Depending on your surgery, bathing and getting on and off the toilet may be difficult at first. You can make things easier and help lower your chances of injury by:

  • Safety first: Install grab bars near the toilet and shower for added support. Organize toiletries (shampoo, soap and other personal products) within easy reach and place a non-slip mat in the shower.
  • Bathing aids: A shower seat and handheld showerhead can make bathing easier and safer.
  • Fresh and accessible: Make sure you have fresh towels available and a clean non-slip bathroom rug.

5. Organize for kitchen convenience

You can also make your kitchen a little more recovery-friendly:

  • Countertop essentials: Place frequently used kitchen items on countertops for easy access
  • Disposable dishes: Stock up on paper plates and cups to minimize dishwashing.
  • Hydration station: Stock your fridge with water bottles and electrolyte drinks to help you stay hydrated after your surgery.
  • Meal prep: Stock your freezer with pre-made, nutritious meals that require minimal preparation.

6. Prepare the house for your recovery

To make your home as comfortable as possible for your recovery, you may also want to do some cleaning before your surgery, including doing the dishes and laundry, vacuuming and/or sweeping, and putting fresh sheets on your bed.

By taking these proactive steps to prepare your home for your post-surgery needs, you can create a nurturing environment that promotes rest, relaxation, and ultimately, a faster recovery.

Scheduling your surgery

If you’ve been recommended for surgery and have access to the Carrum Health benefit, we’ll be here to help every step of the way. For Carrum Health members, most, if not all, surgery costs are typically covered.

Contact us today and connect with a dedicated care specialist who will walk you through the entire process and answer any questions you may have, from your pre-surgery consultation to your recovery.

See if the Carrum Health benefit is available to you. Check your eligibility.


The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. No material is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.