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Caring for a Patient

As a caregiver, you will be helping meet the needs of your loved one. Knee replacement patients usually need a caregiver available during the first 2 weeks. Even if you aren't available 24 hours a day, you can still help.

The need for care varies from patient to patient. Your duties may include:

  • Helping the patient stand, sit, lie down, and move from room to room and place to place
  • Providing help with bathing/grooming, dressing, feeding, and using the bathroom
  • Doing (or arranging for) the shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and errand-running
  • Keeping track of medical appointments and providing transportation to and from the hospital, the surgeon’s office, the physical therapist’s, and to any other appointments
  • Picking up prescriptions or managing delivery of prescriptions
  • Administering medications, changing dressings, and keeping track of assistive devices (cane, walker, crutches, etc)
  • Communicating with the healthcare team about any changes or concerns
  • Managing finances, including paying regular household bills, and handling the patient’s insurance paperwork

The benefits of this important role can include watching your loved one:

  • Enjoy greater mobility after recovering from surgery
  • Experience reduced pain compared to their pre-surgery condition
  • Be more independent and better able to fully enjoy the activities of daily living

This time will no doubt be challenging for both the patient and you. However, experiencing the rehabilitation process can be rewarding. You will play a part in their getting back to the activities they love.

Next: Preparing for Surgery


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