Depending on the severity, surgery can turn day-to-day tasks into impossible feats. After surgery home care can be a helpful resource for seniors by providing assistance in the event of complications and general support as they heal.
Prepare Your Home for Recovery
Sometimes surgery can’t be planned, but if you know a surgery is coming in the near future: prepare, prepare, prepare. Consider organizing your loved one’s home to support their physical needs during recovery. Early preparation to make a senior’s home a safe space to return to helps streamline the recovery process and lower overall stress levels.
1. One Level Living
Post-surgery usually causes weakness and dizziness at any age, so keep life restricted to one level for a while, especially for seniors. If their home is multileveled, make a comfortable bed space on the first level to prevent the need to climb stairs. Keep everything as close as possible to minimize unnecessary movements like searching for remotes and telephones.
2. Pantry Preparation
The recovery time for different surgeries vary, and everyone’s body is unique, so the restrictions may vary from person to person. In the case that their doctor has recommended a strict, post-surgery diet, stock the pantry with approved groceries beforehand.
“Food is medicine” as they say. Meal preparation is important for seniors because their appetites may be unusually small after surgery. In general, buy healthy foods to support senior nutrition like leafy greens, fruits, veggies, and nuts to have on hand for when they get hungry.
3. Clean Up Clutter
If the senior’s home has many rugs or is generally cluttered, clear the floor space of any potential trip hazards. Make a trip-free pathway from the senior’s bed to the bathroom, kitchen, and other necessary areas of the house to minimize the risk of falling. Put nightlights in bathrooms for visibility at night and if the senior requires walking equipment, keep it closeby to avoid stumbling.
Our immune systems decline as we age, and after surgery, patients are especially prone to infection with open wounds. Deep clean the house before returning to sanitize germs providing for a clean recovery area. Use Clorox wipes to wipe down bathrooms, kitchens, doorknobs, handles, keyboards, telephones, banisters, and other high-touch areas of the house.
Regardless of the procedure or physical shape an older adult is in pre-surgery, keeping life “low key” for a while post-surgery is always helpful.
Be mentally supportive. Take things slowly, but keep seniors mentally active during the recovery process. After surgery, everything can feel a bit stiff and foggy. Even if a senior is not diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, they still may experience some confusion post-surgery. Studies have shown that older adults over the age of 60 experience some level of cognitive decline three months after undergoing surgery, so be aware of their symptoms.
Be emotionally supportive. Physical restraints and impairments may cause frustration for seniors resulting in emotionally stimulated highs and lows; be patient and understanding during this time. Empathize when you can and encourage seniors daily to persevere during recovery.
Be physically supportive. Day-to-day activities are no longer simple to perform and usually require assistance in the most humbling ways. Getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and bathing all can become cumbersome tasks; but everyone needs a little help sometimes. Empower seniors to do some things, when possible, with your assistance so they don’t feel completely helpless.
Consider professional support. In home care provided by professional caregivers can help seniors recover faster and prevent common pitfalls post-surgery and indefinitely moving forward. Family members may not always be able to provide the level of post-surgery care required. Caregivers, on the other hand, can assist with ambulation and other needs that may be stressful for family members to help with.
Post Surgery Care Services
At Commonwise Home Care, our caregivers specialize in supporting aging adults no matter their condition. When it comes to post-surgery assistance, we provide a personalized care plan including, but not limited to, the following services:
- Meal preparation
- Suture cleaning
- Bandage changing
- Bathing, dressing, grooming
- Medication management
- Light housekeeping
Our in home caregivers provide the highest quality care for aging adults at various stages in the aging process. Whether seniors need post-surgery care, hourly care, overnight care, or around-the-clock care indefinitely, we are here to serve. Let our caregivers support you and your loved one with compassionate, personalized support. For more information on the Commonwise Home Care difference, call 434.202.8565.
Disclaimer: Please check with your physician before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or medication routine.