Surgery can be a very traumatic experience for elderly adults, even if it is for their own good. Many seniors already live with the struggle of limited mobility when it comes to taking care of themselves. Having surgery can compound their limitations and actually jeopardize their chances for a speedy and full recovery. When family members are preparing to step in and provide care after their aging relative has surgery, they need to focus on what it will take for an optimal recovery.
Here are 5 things that family members can do to boost recovery in an aging relative after their surgery:
1. Hire a professional elder care assistant.
From the first 24 hours after the surgery to the weeks of recovery, an elderly person will need lots of help. Depending on their fitness levels and the type of surgery, seniors can get assistance for whatever they need. A light surgery with a quick recovery may just mean someone comes in to prepare a meal and do some housework and errands. A more intensive surgery where the person is bedridden may need full-time care and help for things like showering and dressing. Family members simply won’t have enough time to devote to their relative post-surgery.
2. Follow the doctor’s orders specifically.
Doctors will provide very specific things for their patients to do as they recover. From the medicines they prescribe to the list of do’s and don’ts, these post-surgical instructions are critical to a full recovery. Family members must make sure their elderly loved one doesn’t skip any medication, physical therapy or follow up appointments. Sometimes there are instructions about how much a person should lift or ways that they should or shouldn’t position their bodies. It’s important that they remain obedient to the instructions.
3. Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids.
Diet plays a significant role in surgical recovery rates. The body needs nutrients to heal and many seniors don’t eat very well. Now, more than ever, they need well-balanced meals with plenty of healthy food. They should avoid highly processed foods and items that are high in salt and sugar. Body fluids will need replenishing frequently after surgery, so soup, broth, water, juice, tea and watery fruits can keep seniors hydrated.
4. Check the surgical area frequently.
The doctor will give instructions on how to take care of the wound, so family caregivers and their elderly relatives should pay attention. Sometimes there are bandages that need to be changed, while other times everything should be left alone until the follow-up appointments. Family members should always be on the lookout for signs of infection, such as swelling, redness and intense pain.
5. Be patient.
The recovery time after surgery requires patience from everyone. Some seniors insist on doing everything themselves while others lose the motivation to do anything. They can also grow bored and irritable quickly or develop depression. Family caregivers and elderly relatives can quickly grow frustrated with each other, sparking arguments. Everyone just needs to exercise patience and take on all the physical and mental challenges that arise.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Walnut, CA, contact the caring staff at No Place Like Home Homecare today at 951-382-5266.