Caring for the carer: 4 things that will make caring for your partner easier
Caring for your partner after she/he has had knee or hip replacement surgery is one of the most rewarding things you can do. However, it can also be challenging at times.
Here are four things that will make your caring role easier.
Make sure you are staying healthy.
With a recovering partner and possible kids to look after, it’s easy to put your own needs last. It’s essential to look after yourself so that you are better able to care for the people who need you the most.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep – eight hours a night is ideal.
- Maintain your strength by following a healthy diet.
- Do exercise every day and choose activities you really enjoy doing.
- Take some time to relax if you are feeling stressed or tired.
Arm yourself with knowledge.
Learn all you can about knee or hip replacement surgery – how it works, the latest technologies (such as robotic-assisted surgery) and their benefits, the expected recovery process and how you can best care for your partner’s needs. Start by asking your partner’s surgeon any questions you have.
Knowledge will give you the confidence and information you need to care for your partner, and in turn your partner will become more accepting of your assistance.
Rethink the personal boundaries you have with your partner.
Topics that were previously not spoken about, such as bodily functions, will become a daily concern. Your partner may have difficulty fulfilling some of his/her own daily needs during recovery, so it’s important to be open, honest and to have those conversations so you are better able to care for their needs.
Get some YOU time.
Beyond caring for your family, working, housework and/or any other daily requirements, it’s important to take time out for you. Setting time aside for yourself to do something relaxing or that makes you happy is important for your own wellbeing and will also strengthen your relationship and ability to care for your partner.
Remember you’re not alone; there’s always support available should you need it.
Dr Stuart MacKenzie is one of the top orthopaedic surgeons in Newcastle and the Hunter and has extensive experience helping people to get moving again through robotic-assisted knee and hip replacement surgery.
1 Jan 2018
Published by Default Admin