Taking Care of Seniors at Home After Surgery

Taking-Care-Of-Seniors-At-Home-After-Heart-Surgery-Blog_Image_1200x628.jpgThe rate of total hip replacement increased among older age groups from 2000 to 2010: by 85% for those aged 55–64, by 62% for those aged 65–74, and by 68% for those aged 75 and over according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This number is only projected to increase in the future, making it important for caregivers and loved ones to be aware of how to best care for seniors after surgery. 

Discuss Post-Operative Care with the Doctor Before Surgery 

If you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one who is scheduled to have surgery, be sure to discuss post-operative care with the doctor beforehand. This will help ensure that both you and your loved one are aware of what to expect and know what steps to take in order to make sure a smooth recovery. 

Healing at Home Saves Money and Accelerates Healing 

As a caregiver, you can help preserve a senior’s quality of life and feeling of independence. Healing at home can help reduce symptoms of depression and accelerate healing. Studies show that patients are less sedentary when they are healing at home rather than healing in a hospital or care center and that readmission rates were 70 percent lower in patients that were healing at home.  

Not only does home healing help promote healing, but seniors are also saved the costs of occupying a hospital room. Providing hospital-quality care at home can help reduce certain health risks and help better the healing process for your loved one. 

If you agree that you want to support the home healing of your loved one, but are concerned that you can’t supply the hospital-quality care, consider contracting with a professional home-care team to help assist you with RN-level services. Transitioning from the hospital to the home can be a tricky process to manage on your own—there is help available! 

Develop a Care Plan 

Regardless of whether or not you decide to engage professional in-home care services, to find success with supporting your senior at home after surgery requires making a care plan. You can make this plan in conjunction with your loved one’s doctor to ensure you cover all the vital points of aftercare.  

Prepare for Success 

Taking care of a senior after surgery can be a formidable task, but with some preparation and organization it can be much more manageable—even enjoyable! Here are a few tips to help make the process easier before surgery and after! 

Pre-Surgery Checklist 

Create a plan for care before surgery. This will help ensure that everything is taken care of when the senior is recovering from surgery. 

  • Ask for help from family or friends. They can provide support and help with tasks around the house. 

  • Make sure the home is safe for the senior to return to. Remove any tripping hazards and install grab bars in bathrooms as needed. 

  • Stock up on supplies. This will ensure that you have everything you need to take care of the senior. Supplies can include things like bandages, medical tape, cold packs, and prescription medications. 

  • Assist with medication schedules and doctors’ appointments. Helping to keep on track with doctor’s appointments and medication schedules can be a huge help. 

  • Prepare meals that are easy to digest. Having some meals on hand for after surgery will be a huge help. Avoid foods that are high in fat or sugar. 

  • Place items within easy reach. Make sure your senior’s important personal items (medications, glasses, hearing aids) are within easy reach! 

  • Reserve any aftercare equipment. If your senior will need a wheelchair or walker make sure you have these items ready for post-surgery needs. 

  • Prepare to give emotional support. Deliver encouragement, patience, and love as your senior as recovers from surgery. 

After surgery, many seniors want to stay in their own homes. This can be a difficult transition, but with the right care and support, it can be a successful one. 

Most seniors prefer to stay in their own homes after surgery, but they may require a little extra help to ensure a successful recovery. Here are some helpful tips for post-surgery care. 

Tips for Taking Care of Seniors at Home After Surgery 

  1. Understand and follow doctor's orders. The most important thing you can do is ensure you understand any post-op care instructions your loved one's doctor has prescribed. This is critical to their health and healing.
  2. Make sure they have plenty of fluids. Dehydration can be a common complication after surgery, so make sure your loved one drinks plenty of water, juice, and other fluids. 
  3. Encourage them to move around as much as possible. Surgery can often leave seniors feeling weak and stiff, so encourage them to move around as much as possible, per doctor’s orders. This will help improve their mobility and reduce the risk of complications. 
  4. Help them with basic tasks such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. These tasks can be difficult for seniors after surgery, so offer to help out as much as you can. 
  5. Keep a close eye on their pain levels. Pain is often one of the biggest challenges for seniors after surgery, so make sure you are keeping a close eye on their pain levels and taking steps to manage it effectively. 
  6. Make sure they get plenty of rest. Surgery can be exhausting, so make sure your loved one gets plenty of rest in the days following their procedure. 
  7. Watch out for warning signs. Keep an eye on your loved one for signs of infection, such as fever, redness or swelling around the surgery site, or drainage from the wound. 
  8. Assist your loved one with their medication schedule. Stay on top of daily medications as directed by the surgeon. 
  9. Offer transportation. Transport your loved one to follow-up appointments and other medical appointments as needed. 
  10. Check in on them regularly. It's important to keep an eye on your loved one's progress after surgery, so check in with them regularly to see how they're doing. If you notice any problems or concerns, don't hesitate to bring them up with their doctor. 

Following these tips can help ensure a smooth recovery for your loved one after surgery. With a little bit of help, they'll be able to return to their normal routine in no time. 

Consider Transitional Post-Hospital In-Home Care Services 

The final step in taking care of seniors at home after surgery is ensuring they have enough support. This includes help with things like bathing, grooming, and transportation. You may also need to help them with their medications and wound care. 

If your loved one doesn’t have the extra care and support they need to make a successful transition at home, consider enlisting professional home care support from the RN-led team from BrightStar Care. 

BrightStar Care staff ensures that your loved one receives the critical home health support they need reduce the need for re-hospitalization, falls, medication mistakes, and mental stress which can delay healing or worsen health.  

Making the decision to stay at home after surgery can be difficult, but with the right care and support, it can be a successful transition. If you are having difficulty providing this care yourself, consider enlisting BrightStar Care to provide the extra care and support your loved one needs to make a successful transition home.