Recovering from surgery requires extra time and care for patients of all ages, but aging seniors must be especially sure to follow a care plan. You and your family may be accustomed to providing care for your loved one. However, many elements of surgery recovery require specialized attention.
If your aging loved one is coming home from the hospital after hip replacement surgery, knee replacement surgery or another operation, it is necessary to plan ahead for their care needs. Follow these five tips to help your loved one prior to their hospital discharge and when they return home.
1. Plan Your Day Of Discharge Ahead Of Time
Waiting until the last minute to plan for your senior’s hospital discharge is not advisable, because a number of preparations must be made before their return home. Discharges are preferable in the morning so you are able to pick up medications from the pharmacy and purchase a hospital bed, wheelchair or other equipment before stores close.
2. Prepare The House For Your Senior’s Return Home
When your loved one is going through surgery recovery, they may not be able to climb up and down staircases in the home. Make up a bed downstairs if possible, by using the sofa or renting a bed in the interim so they are able to access the kitchen, bathroom and front door.
It is also helpful to get groceries for your senior prior to their return home. This prevents unnecessary commotion on the day of their hospital discharge and ensures they have food available for the days following their arrival home.
3. Know Your Loved One’s Physical And Mental Limitations
Understanding the outcome of your senior’s surgery helps you better care for your senior after their hospital discharge.
Some of the following elements of care may be necessary based on your loved one’s condition:
- Aging adults may not be able to bear weight after knee replacement surgery or hip replacement surgery.
- It may be necessary to apply cold or warm compresses to certain extremities after surgery.
- Monitor your loved one’s blood pressure after surgery to ensure they don’t faint or fall.
Your senior’s mental state is just as important as their physical state. If your loved one tries to do more than their safety restrictions allow, gently restrict them based on what their doctor has said. By reminding your senior that it is the doctor who has given the orders, you remove some of the tension associated with assuming a parental role over your loved one.
4. How To Manage A Busy Schedule
Families caring for loved ones during surgery recovery should include a daily or weekly schedule in their care plan. When your senior has numerous doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions and medications to take, their days may become chaotic without a schedule in place.
One solution to prevent you and your senior from becoming overwhelmed is to expand your support system. A friend may be able to assist with cooking meals, helping with the laundry, or running errands. A friend may also be able to drive your loved one to follow-up medical appointments. However, it is important that the friend has experience helping your loved one get in and out of the car.
5. Consider Advanced Home Care
Advanced at-home care is a suitable option when you and your loved one are in need of an extra individual to offer support. Caregivers are experienced in providing proper care during surgery recovery as well as transporting seniors to appointments, preparing meals and administering medications.
Geriatric Care Managers are a knowledgeable resource to consult when you have questions about how to help your loved one after surgery. Instead of letting the details of a comprehensive care plan overwhelm you, seek guidance and caregiver help at home as your loved one is on the mend.
Ready to learn how advanced home care fits within your loved one’s care plan? Discover everything you need to know about at-home care and other senior care services.