Recovering from surgery is neither quick nor easy.
Bodies break down over time.
Some people are more prone to genetic degeneration of joints, tendons, or organs.
Others experience physical issues through illness or injury.
In some instances, surgery is required to improve mobility or even sustain life.
According to a recent Seasons article titled “How older adults can safely recover from surgery at home,” complications are always a possibility when undergoing surgery.
Seniors have a greater mortality rate than younger adults.
Yes, I am a master of the obvious.
One in seven seniors who do not live in a nursing home die before the one year anniversary of their major surgery.
When a senior is classified as frail, the chance of death is 25 percent.
One in three individuals with dementia are likely to die after major surgery.
Although recovering from surgery at home often has better outcomes than recovering in a hospital or rehab facility, there are key steps people should take to care for their needs.
What can you do to help a senior loved one after surgery?
Prepare for home surgical recovery.
Before your loved ones goes into surgery, you should create a plan regarding what needs to happen to support the recovery from surgery.
Learn what you can about the type of surgery and its recovery process.
You can ask the doctor, others you know who have had the same surgery, or read reputable websites on the internet.
With more knowledge, you will be better equipped to create a successful recovery plan.
Remove obstacles in the home.
If clutter, furniture, and plants are obstructing important paths in the home, they should be removed or rearranged.
Those who have been administered anesthesia often struggle with balance and stability.
Rearranging and organizing the house can decrease the risk of injury from falls.
Plan for commuting.
Often after surgery, patients must refrain from driving for a time.
While your loved ones may not be able to drive while recovering from surgery, they will still need to attend doctor checkups and therapy appointments.
Have a nutrition plan.
What a person eats can be either helpful or detrimental for recovery.
Purchase and prepare nutritious meals for your loved ones.
You should also make sure they have plenty of water or other liquids.
Dehydration can impede recovery from surgery.
Focus on health.
Infections after surgery are scary and can lead to dangerous conditions quickly.
Take care in cleaning and dressing open wounds.
Your own hands should be clean prior to touching around the wound area.
Follow the instructions provided by the doctor in caring for wounds and be watchful for infection symptoms.
Ask questions of the medical team regarding the care plan.
Doing home exercises and attending therapy sessions and followup appointments are key to recovering from surgery.
In short, the better prepared you are to provide home recovery care, the more likely the home recovery.
Reference: Seasons (Oct. 28, 2022) “How older adults can safely recover from surgery at home”