Just because your loved one has been released from the hospital after having surgery doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of post-surgical care you’ll still be required to facilitate. As your elderly loved one recovers, this can be a very stressful time for the whole family, because even very independent seniors will need so much more home care after surgery. Whether it’s making sure they’re following their doctor’s orders or changing bandages, after surgery in-home care may be necessary to ensure the health of your loved one. Here’s how you can help your senior after surgery.
Having someone stay with your senior post-operatively may be crucial not just for your loved one’s comfort, but also for his or her safety. Post-surgical complications can occur, so it’s important to have someone with your loved one at all times, especially in the first few days after they arrive home. That way they’re always monitored and have someone to help in the case of an emergency.
If you have siblings or close relatives or friends, you can certainly try to take post-surgical care shifts. However, there may be times where no one is available or when someone is uncomfortable with what needs to be done to properly care for your parent, like bathing, dressing an incision site, or administering medication or shots. In this case, hiring someone to help with after-surgery in-home care can take a huge weight of responsibility off everyone’s shoulders. They’ll be in good hands while you take care of other important priorities.
That’s a great question! It’s probably easier than you think. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Your parent may be going through a difficult transition during in-home care after surgery, no matter the procedure. Encourage them when you can. Tell them when you see them that they’re making progress. Stay positive even on difficult days. Creating an encouraging environment can aid in a speedy recovery.
Older patients may take longer to recover than younger patients, so be as patient as possible. Don’t get discouraged if your loved one isn’t healing on the original timeline laid out by their doctor. They’re just healing on their own schedule and often this is perfectly normal.
Recovery and post-surgical care can be lonely. Your senior loved one may not be able to go out to visit friends at their senior center like they usually do. A lack of independence could cause depression. Be present whenever you can and don’t shy away from after-surgery in-home care during the times that you’re busy.
One of the best ways you can help your loved one after surgery in-home care is by making them comfortable. This could include obvious additions like pillows, blankets, and warm/cold compresses, but this can also mean keeping their environment comfortable and eliminating stressors by cooking and cleaning.
In order to ensure that your loved one is on the right track for recovery, accompany them to their follow-up appointments. This way, you can help them remember everything the doctor has suggested.
It will be difficult to help your loved one recover if you’re not taking care of yourself. Know your limits. If you need a break, ask a family member or friend to take over, even if it’s just for a few hours.
Your loved one might not be inclined to follow the doctor’s orders as prescribed. In that case, you can help them by reminding them about everything they have to look forward to once they get better. Tell them if they don’t follow orders, they may not recover enough to do those things. If a parent isn’t following a specific diet or is continuing to smoke after being told to quit, make sure you’re modeling a good example. Don’t eat food around them that they’re unable to eat and don’t smoke around them either. You can’t expect them to easily give up things you’re not willing to also give up for them.
Your elderly loved one will be back on their feet in no time. Until then, do the best you can with their post-surgical care. Be patient and positive. Keep your loved one comfortable, and don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially from an after surgery in-home care professional if your family is overwhelmed.