Non-Weight Bearing And Alone: Helpful Tips For Recovering From A Broken Ankle When You Live By Yourself

If you've recently broken your ankle, you may feel overwhelmed when you hear your doctor say you will need to be non-weight bearing for several weeks. While this news is shocking for anyone, it's even more distressful for those who live alone. 

Preparing your home for your convalescence period will help your recovery process go smoother and prevent you from experiencing another accident while recovering.

Enlist the help of others

You will need some assistance from friends and family members to get your home set up for your recovery period. Have them rearrange furnishings to make moving about your home easier. Ask them to remove all throw rugs, which can be fall hazards.

Have your helpers move frequently used items from cabinets to the kitchen table for easy accessibility. Have them move items inside the refrigerator to the front of a middle shelf where you can reach them with ease.

The same goes for toiletries. Have everything you need for personal care placed in a bin and stored where you can reach it easily.

Have your helpers assemble your bath items in a wash basin. You should plan on taking sponge baths since you will not likely be able to get a tub bath or shower with a cast on. Even if you can cover the cast, taking a shower when you live alone in a non-weight bearing status can be dangerous.

If you are unable to drive, you will need to arrange for friends or family members to do your banking or grocery shopping and to take you for doctor appointments. Have several people lined up to help with these tasks, if possible.

Purchase or rent a wheelchair

A wheelchair can be your best friend when you are recovering alone at home. It's a much safer way to navigate through your home than crutches or a walker. It gives you freedom to move about your home without the fear of falling. Contact a local outlet, such as Neergaard Pharmacies, for further assistance.

Avoid using crutches or a walker as much as possible and rely on your wheelchair most of the time. Use a walker or crutches only for short distances, such as for bathroom trips. 

Be prepared for emergencies

Wear a waist pouch or keep a small tote clipped to your wheelchair for holding your phone in case you need to call someone for assistance in an emergency. Never use your walker or crutches without having your phone within easy reach.

Use a recliner

A recliner can make it easier to get into a comfortable sleeping position. It is also helpful for keeping your foot elevated throughout the day. An electric remote-controlled recliner is even better for helping you to get up from a seated position when in a non-weight bearing position.

Meal preparation

Have you helpers purchase food that is easy to prepare. Canned soups and stews are good choices. Stock up on frozen dinners for quick and easy meals. Ready-to-eat cereals and instant hot cereal to fix in the microwave are easy meal options. Breakfast bars and fresh fruits are good for snacks.

Once you adjust to your non-weight bearing status, you will be able to perform more detailed cooking chores from your wheelchair. In the beginning, it is best to stick with foods you can heat up quickly in the microwave.

While recovering from a broken ankle is never easy when you live alone, having your living space prepared for your convalescence will make it easier. Your safety is the first concern, and enlisting the help of others to make your home safe and easy to navigate will result in a much better recovery for you.