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How to Plan for Seniors to Recover at Home After Surgery
November 20th, 2023

How to Plan for Seniors to Recover at Home After Surgery

Few things are as stressful as undergoing surgery—especially at an older age when health, mobility, and cognitive awareness have started to decline. As the spouse or adult child of a senior who’s receiving surgery, it’s important to create a plan to provide attentive care for your loved one once they’re home and recovering.

While every senior’s lifestyle and needs are different, creating a tailored plan that incorporates professional home health care, meal prep, personal assistance, and basic housekeeping is an important part of post-surgical recovery.

Here’s how to develop a plan to keep your senior loved one safe and comfortable after surgery.

Discuss Their Needs With Their Doctor

Your loved one’s doctor is the best source of information when it comes to post-surgery care. They’ll be able to provide you with important information about everything from medications and dietary restrictions to mobility and exercise expectations. Before you meet with them, prepare some questions such as:

  • How long should recovery take?
  • What should you expect in the days after surgery?
  • Are there any symptoms to watch for that may indicate infection or a need for immediate care?
  • How should you care for the incision?
  • Are there any medications to be taken after surgery?
  • Are there any dietary or activity restrictions to be aware of?

Prepare a Safe Recovery Space

Before your loved one returns home after their surgery, ensure they have a comfortable, safe space to recover in.

Make up their bed with clean sheets and extra blankets or pillows to ensure they can prop themselves up to eat and read in bed comfortably. Keep their favourite books or magazines close by and if possible, set up a television so they can watch their favourite movies or television shows during their recovery.

In addition to ensuring the space they return to is comfortable, it’s important to make sure the environment around their bed is safe. Remove any clutter, cords, or furniture that could present a tripping hazard, move their bed closer to the bathroom if needed, and make sure they have a way to call for help, such as a bell or intercom.

Prep Their Meals

Once you have an idea of any dietary restrictions your loved one will need to follow, set aside some time in the days before their surgery to prepare meals for them. Regardless of the restrictions they need to follow, ensure you’re providing them with well-balanced, nutritious meals that can be heated quickly on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Lay Out Comfortable Clothing

Your loved one will likely prefer to spend the days following surgery in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Ensure they have pajamas, sweatpants, and t-shirts clean and available to wear when they come home from the hospital.

Consider Home Health Care

Recovering from surgery often means paying close attention to vital signs, medications, and incision care. It also means offering help with activities of daily living, such as bathing and toileting.

A professional home health care agency such as Umbrella Home Care can provide these services and more, helping your senior loved one recover quickly and safely at home.

Contact us to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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