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Prepping Seniors for Surgery: Tips for Family Caregivers

Surgery can be a worrisome ordeal for everyone involved, but family caregivers can help prepare senior loved ones (and themselves) for the road ahead to make the whole process smoother. With advanced planning strategies and a gentle hand, in-home caregivers can make surgery preparation easier and aid in a speedy recovery.

Ask Questions

Attend doctor’s visits prior to surgery with your loved one and ask questions about the surgical procedure. Find out if he or she should stop taking certain medications before surgery, whether local or general anesthesia will be used, what risks are associated with the procedure and what to expect during recovery. Your loved one might be nervous and may not think of these questions on his or her own, so having you there to help ensures that you both know what to expect.

Have Everyday Items in Easy Reach

If your senior loved one wears glasses or uses hearing aids, make sure these items are readily available. He or she should be able to easily reach these items without straining or needing assistance from you or a respite caregiver. Other items to have on hand include fresh water, a box of tissues, a phone, the TV remote and a book or magazines to read. Make sure your loved one is as comfortable as possible so he or she feel more prepared for surgery.

Remove Tripping Hazards

Your loved one will probably have difficulty getting around the home while recovering, especially in the days following surgery. Preventing re-injury from tripping or falling is a priority, so it may help to plan ahead. Before your loved one goes in for surgery, move furniture around to open paths throughout the house, put throw rugs away and move any loose cords out of sight. Make sure hallways are clear of shoes and other clutter so walkways are easily accessible.

Bring Personal Items to the Hospital

Confusion is common right after surgery, so it’s important to have familiar items in the hospital room for your loved one. Bring in family photos and a few small, meaningful items to place around the room. This may help your loved one adjust to waking up after surgery in an unfamiliar place.

It may also be helpful to have an extra hand to assist with cooking, light cleaning, monitoring medications, or running errands after your loved one’s surgery. For more information about in-home senior care in Orlando, contact Home Care Assistance at (407) 232-7155. We can help you develop a hospital-to-home plan and are available 24/7 to answer your questions and offer support.