When an older adult is facing a surgical procedure, and the subsequent surgery recovery, it can be a time of stress and anxiety, both for the senior herself and her loved ones. The best course of action to ensure peace of mind and as comfortable an experience as possible is through taking proactive measures before the operation, eliminating a post-op rush to get the home in order.
The Phoenix, AZ home care team at Nightingale Homecare suggest the following steps family caregivers can take now to ease surgery recovery when the time comes:
- Learn about hospital delirium. Some degree of confusion is quite common in older adults following surgery, and can be quite unsettling for family members who are unaware of this condition. Post-operative delirium occurs most frequently in seniors who have been heavily sedated and/or on a ventilator, and can last for months, causing memory and cognitive problems and hallucinations. Talk with your senior loved one’s surgeon before surgery about this possibility, and how to prevent it.
- Make a list, and check it twice. Ask a member of the senior’s medical team if any medical equipment or assistive devices will be necessary or simply helpful during the surgery recovery process, and make arrangements to have those items ready in the senior’s home. This might include a wheelchair or walker, a hospital bed, a bedside commode, and more. You can also find out if it’s possible to pick up any medications the senior will need before the surgery.
- Prepare the home. Take a walk through the senior’s home to address any safety concerns, such as ensuring there are clear pathways in the areas the senior will be ambulating, ensuring there are grab bars near the toilet and shower/tub, removing throw rugs and other fall hazards, and arranging helpful items where the senior will be able to easily access them, such as a phone, TV remote control, reading materials, etc. Fill the fridge and pantry with nutritious food choices, and if possible, prepare some meals in advance to store in the freezer for easy reheating.
- Reach out to others. Caring for a senior loved one post-surgery is often more than one person can handle alone. Enlist other family members, friends, and neighbors to take shifts in caring for the senior, to help with housework and laundry, to run errands, or simply to provide friendly companionship.
Nightingale Homecare offers a wide range of in-home care services to help seniors with surgery recovery, from non-medical needs such as help around the home and with meals, to highly skilled medical care from our team of registered nurses, and so much more. Allow our Phoenix, AZ home care experts to make surgery recovery a smoother process for your senior loved one by calling us at (602) 504-1555.