How to Help an Elderly Relative Recover After Surgery

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Recover After Surgery

Let’s be honest: Getting old is no picnic. Watching our loved ones age can be tough, especially if they go through a sudden health scare and require unexpected surgery. If your elderly relative is recovering from an operation, you’ll want to read up on what you can do to help them get better. Here is what you need to know.

1. Living Space

When a loved one gets out of hospital following a surgical procedure, they’ll probably feel most comfortable returning to their own home. If that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure it’s suitable for their needs.

Talk to their doctor to see what changes you might need to make. You may need to hire a hospital bed for the duration of their recovery, and it might be best to set this up on the first floor, so they don’t have to use the stairs.

You should also check that the bathroom is equipped for somebody with mobility issues. Bear in mind that you’ll probably have to help them use the bathroom for a while, so make sure you’re prepared for that!

If it’s difficult to adjust your loved one’s living space to their needs, you could consider moving them to a skilled nursing facility while they recover. McKnight Place offers skilled nursing St. Louis and provides around-the-clock medical care for residents.

2. Food Needs: Think Ahead

When an elderly person is healing after an invasive procedure, they won’t be up to cooking for themselves. Batch cooking a number of meals in advance and putting them in the freezer is a good way to make sure your loved one is eating good, healthy food regularly, without having to stand over a hot stove for hours each day.

Once or twice a week, cook a large batch of meals and portion them up. You can then easily reheat a ready-made dinner every night, taking all the stress out of cooking.

3. Prescriptions

Talk to your family member’s doctor about what prescriptions they will need to have filled. Keep a list of what medications are needed and when they’ll need to be filled or refilled.

Bear in mind that medicines can be expensive, so plan ahead and talk to your family member before they have surgery to make sure that all payments are in place if insurance isn’t going to cover it all.

4. Follow-Up Appointments

It’s more than likely that your family member’s doctor will want them to come back into the hospital or a rehabilitation center for numerous follow-up appointments. You can help by arranging these appointments, providing transport to them, and going along to provide moral support.

5. Emotional Help

Undergoing surgery can be an emotional time, and it’s not always easy for people to come to terms with the fact that they need medical intervention. It’s common for people to experience depression after surgery.

If it’s taking a long time for them to get back on their feet, they’ll need patience and understanding, as well as encouragement to keep going. Make sure you provide emotional support and a listening ear to your loved one in the lead-up to and aftermath of their procedure. 

Caring for an elderly relative after surgery can feel like a full-time job, but it’s important that you tell your loved one that you’re there for them, whatever they need. The best way to do this is simply to listen to their needs.

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