Older people are known to have a high risk for surgery. Recovering from an operation will require the extensive support of both healthcare professionals and caregivers at home. Certain products are especially useful when seniors are at home healing from surgery.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one-third of all surgeries (38 percent) in the US are performed on people over the age of 65. Over the course of the next ten years, this number is expected to increase; eighty-four million seniors are likely to require surgery.
Geriatric surgery allows the elderly patient to experience an improved quality of life as well as a longer lifespan. Comorbidities, or suffering from multiple health conditions, is a strong predictor of the outcome of surgery—in fact, more so than the age of the patient.
Elective surgeries, such as cardiac, vascular, oncological and orthopedic surgery may be performed on seniors over the age of 75 with good results. Long-term outcomes can equal those of younger patients; survival rates with some surgeries are equivalent to those of younger age groups.
Still, surgery is stressful for the elderly patient and caregiver. Post-surgical care is critical, since older people heal slower and have a greater risk for complications. However, the following healthcare items accelerate healing at home and make recovering easier for the geriatric patient.
While at the hospital, caregivers are advised to speak with the doctor or nurse in order to develop a list of items that will be necessary to facilitate the senior’s recovery at home. Take notes during the discussion with the healthcare provider to accurately recall important information.
1. Lift Chair
Standing and sitting become a struggle for post-surgical patients for at least two weeks after the procedure. Pain can result if the body twists or strains; or sutures can be pulled open. Plus, older people can lose their balance and fall when attempting to rise from a seated position.
Avoid setbacks to recovery by renting or purchasing a lift chair. Using a remote control, the senior can power the lift chair so that it eases into a slanted position, thereby enabling the individual to effortlessly stand. Medical chairs also support the back and promote blood circulation.
2. Commode and Overnight Pads
Walking to the bathroom after surgery can be a daunting experience for the senior patient. A bedside commode eliminates this obstacle and allows seniors with limited mobility to use the bathroom independently. As a temporary solution, a bedside commode is ideal during post-surgical recovery.
During the day, adult diapers help with incontinence. At night, extra-absorbent overnight pads hold more liquid than their daytime counterparts. Disposable bed pads that fit over a mattress are also useful and can be replaced each day. Mattress protectors are a more comfortable alternative to bed pads.
3. Disinfectants and Hand Sanitizer
Surgical wounds are susceptible to infection. Keep infections at bay by properly sanitizing and disinfecting the immediate area. Caregivers and seniors are advised to wash their hands with antibacterial soap or use a hand sanitizer prior to touching any incisions.
4. Medication Reminders
After surgery, the physician may prescribe medications. Managing multiple pills can be a challenge for older people who may be overwhelmed by the task. Medication compliance is critical during the recovery phase as well as for preventing adverse health reactions.
A range of diverse products are available to send alarms, organize medications and deliver the right pills. Automated medication dispensing devices increase medication compliance. Pill organizers keep medicines organized for a month. Medication reminder apps are also useful for the tech-savvy.
5. Wheelchair or Walker
Wheelchairs allow seniors with limited mobility to maneuver through the home. However, due to the surgical procedure, these individuals’ upper body strength may be reduced. Caregivers who are not strong enough to physically support the senior can help the care recipient remain mobile.
Walkers are available to support seniors as they walk. Available as wheeled or standard walkers, these devices assist with balance and facilitate the recovery of surgical patients. Walking is critical post-surgery to strengthen muscles, promote blood flow and accelerate wound healing.
6. Home Health Care Services
Transitional care from a professional caregiver is an important component in surgical recovery. Trained specifically to provide after-surgery care at home, these professionals are integral to the speedy recovery of adults and the elderly who have returned home from a hospital stay.
Professional caregivers support post-surgical patients as they walk, for instance. Certain bodily systems slow down after surgery, but walking promotes essential oxygen flow throughout the body. Walking prevents the post-surgical patient from developing pressure sores that result from prolonged bed rest.
Recovering individuals and seniors find reliable post-surgical care provided by Assisting Hands Home Care. Our after-surgery care is designed to be flexible and is customized to meet each care recipient’s short- and long-term needs. We assist care recipients to ensure a smooth hospital-to-home transition.
Care services start with a professional caregiver transporting the care recipient from the hospital to the home. We pick up any prescription medications, grocery items and supplies. Nutritious meals aid in healing, so our caregivers prepare balanced meals rich in vitamins and minerals.
Medication reminders and monitoring are core responsibilities of our caregivers. We also provide transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. If your loved one is scheduled for regular physical therapy, we transport the individual to therapy appointments and senior exercise programs.
Assisting Hands Home Care post-surgical care also includes assistance with the activities of daily living. Our caregivers discreetly help with personal hygiene (such as bathing, grooming and toileting), grocery shopping and light housekeeping. Our services help your loved one recover as quickly as possible.
Families with loved ones living in Hinsdale, Downers Grove, La Grange, IL and surrounding areas, are encouraged to contact Assisting Hands Home Care for complete, nonmedical post-surgical care. Our care recipients’ full rehabilitation is our number one priority. Call our reputable home care agency at (630) 413-9899 for a complimentary in-home consultation.
Do you need assistance in a hospital or care facility? Check our hospital sitting services.