6 Ways to Help an Older Loved One Recover from Surgery at Home
By Chris Cruse 9 am on
When a senior goes through surgery, the experience is much different than it is for a younger person. Mobility can become a major issue, and recovery typically takes longer. Seniors can be prone to infections and other complications that can result in readmission to the hospital. Consider the following tips to help your senior loved one have a more positive outcome after surgery.
1. Stock the Home with Necessities
Before your parent comes home after surgery, you should have the kitchen stocked with healthy and nutritious food that’s easy to prepare. After surgery, your loved one may have special nutrition needs, such as a liquid diet. Prior to the procedure, talk with your parent’s doctor about food, medication, and other items your loved one may need. Having those supplies on hand in advance can prevent you from having to make extra trips to the store or pharmacy.
2. Create a Safe Home Environme
Since mobility can be an issue for seniors, get rid of clutter and other items that can make it unsafe for your loved one to get around. Remove area rugs, cords, and items that might become tripping hazards in areas your loved one will frequent. Nightlights, grab bars in bathrooms, and raised toilet seats can prevent falls.
3. Observe Them After Surgery
Review the hospital discharge instructions to be aware of what to expect after your loved one’s surgery. Pay attention to unusual behaviors or unsettling changes. For example, some procedures may put your loved one at higher risk for stroke. Wounds or incisions may heal more slowly than you expect. Disorientation, fever, and bleeding or discharge from the incision may be signs of problems. If you have concerns, contact the healthcare provider immediately.Older adults who need help recovering from surgery can benefit from professional in-home care. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elder care, Des Moines Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
4. Make Sure They Eat & Stay Hydrated
It’s not unusual to experience loss of appetite after major surgery. Eating may be unpleasant because anesthesia can impact the ability to digest food. It’s important to be patient, but seniors need adequate nutrition, particularly protein and vitamin C, to aid in healing. Dehydration can lead to disorientation, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, and other issues. Healthy fluids prevent seniors from becoming dehydrated.Hiring a professional caregiver is an excellent way to support your parent’s recovery process.At-home careproviderscan benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
5. Keep Medical Appointments
A healthcare provider usually schedules a follow-up visit with a senior within a week or two after discharge from the hospital. Keep the appointment. If there’s some reason your loved one cannot travel to the appointment, contact the healthcare provider to determine if a telehealth visit will be sufficient
6. Get Help from an In-Home Care Provider
Caring for a senior after surgery can be overwhelming, especially if you work or have young children at home. In-home care gives you peace of mind because your loved one will have someone available who has experience caring for seniors and can spot problems that arise. An in-home caregiver can provide services when you need them, allowing you to work, care for your children, rest, and spend quality time with your loved one.Caring for a recuperating senior can take a toll on a caregiver’s own health. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Des Moines families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home. If you need in-home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438.