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By Carol Marak - Aging Matters

This article is the second part of a two-part column addressing how to prepare for hip surgery. Last time I listed online resources and preparing the home, post-surgery.

This week, the column offers tips about assistive devices, food, and pet care. The information was written by a person who recently had hip surgery. It should not replace the advice of a doctor. The medical office and hospital staff may have after care resources.

Post hospital, you will need pain and other medications at home. Contact a courier service before surgery, explain what and where they will pick up and deliver. Get information about rates and turnaround. Rates are higher outside weekday business hours. Check on or Amazon for a partner pharmacy that delivers.

Food – Nutrition is important for healing and recovery. Shop and prepare food before surgery, and freeze in single serving containers and prepare for a 4-week supply. Keep fresh fruit handy. Make a list of grocery stores and restaurants that deliver.

Assistive Devices & Supplies – First scout the local thrift and resale shops for items, and contact the local senior services, or your faith organization, to see if they loan out items:

Walker – hospitals may arrange for one, supplied via insurance, but there may be a co-pay (mine was $15). I often see these at thrift stores

Cane – you will eventually migrate from walker to cane. Get a foldable one, since you’ll wean off as you strengthen. You can to take it with you in case it’s needed, and a foldable is simple to carry

Grabber – if budget allows, purchase two, because you will drop one and not be able to bend over to retrieve

Tub Transfer Bench – used for bathing if you have a tub or a combination tub/shower

Shower chair – use if you have a walk-in shower, but no built-in seat, check out the local thrift stores.

Detachable Hand-Held Shower Head – facilitates bathing, to hold and to direct water while you sit.

Pre-Moistened Disposable Washcloths – to use when you don’t feel strong enough to bathe.

Grab Bars for Shower or Tub

Raised Toilet Seat with Arms

Sock Aid – necessary for pulling on socks, as you will not be able to bend down or over for weeks

Long-Handled Shoe Horn – facilitates putting on shoes, without bending

Slip-on, supportive shoes – you will not be able to tie shoelaces. Check out a product called “Hickies,” it converts shoes/sneakers from tie to slip-on. (

Leg Lifter aid – assists in lifting and guiding your operated leg onto the bed.

Ice Packs – to reduce swelling; I used a few packages of frozen peas.

(Most available at

Pets – I boarded my dog for two weeks. Try to locate pet care services or Google ‘pet sitter.’

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By Carol Marak

Aging Matters

Carol Marak, aging advocate, and editor at She’s earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.

Carol Marak, aging advocate, and editor at She’s earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.